Region: Rwenzori Mountains, bordering Virunga National Park
Altitude: 1000 – 1800 MASL
Harvest: December to March 2018-2019
Arabica Varietals: Blue Mountain, Rumangabo
Preparation: Handpicked, sorted and sundried.
Process: washed sundried
Producer: Kawa Kanzururu Cooperative
In the cup: Dark chocolate, liquorice, sugar cane sweetness, lychee, blackcurrant and mulberry notes
THE VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK COFFEES
The borders of the Virunga National Park, including the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains and the uplands to the north-west of Lake Edward, contain some of the finest Arabica coffee growing land in the world. Smallholder farmers here have long grown heirloom bourbon varieties, but until very recently, post-harvest processing was very basic and the only buyers were informal traders coming from neighbouring Uganda. The aim of the Virunga National Park coffee programme is to enable farmers to realise the full potential of their coffees. The farmers are already organised at village level, around small-scale coffee washing stations, and affiliated to two vibrant young cooperatives, one being Kawa Kanzururu close to Beni d Butembo for milling and export. Already these cooperatives are producing extraordinary coffees. Kawa Kanzururu has 1642 members in the co-op, 350 women farmers and 1292 men
VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK’S COFFEE PROJECT WITH FARM AFRICA
The farmers are organised in two co-operatives, Coopade and Kawa Kanzururu. The project, which is financed by the European Union, will strengthen their business at each level, from farm management to production and business systems. The project approach is based on implementing a holistic and sustainable farming model, including crop diversification, establishing a balance between food security and cash generation. The programme includes training on good agricultural practices and the establishment of nurseries for coffee as well as other trees.
There is a strong emphasis on increasing the quantity and quality of the fully washed Arabica produced by the cooperatives. This will be achieved through upgrading processing and storage capacity, installing cupping labs, and through training in quality management, evaluation and control at each level from farmer to export.
(Info courtesy of Cofi-com)