KIWI, PEAR, TROPICAL, CACAO, BROWN SUGAR, BALANCED-MEDIUM
Grower: 380 women farmers of the Kabngetuny Cooperative Society
Varieties: Batian, K7, SL28, SL34, & Ruiru 11
Region: Kericho County, Kenya
Altitude: 2000 meters
Soil: Red Volcanic loam
Process: Natural and dried on raised beds
Certifications: Fair Trade
In the local Kalenjin language, Kabng'etuny means a place of Lions. We are constantly looking to identify ideas that promote women empowerment in coffee. This past year, the LaBaia team visited Kabng’etuny Co-op and identified a project rooted with inspiration and ingenuity. The coffee industry is deeply woven into the fabric and identity of the Kenyan culture and the DNA of its heritage. An industry largely controlled and ran by men has not stopped or slowed the growing impact deeply reverberating through out the industry by the women of Kabng'etuny. In fact the coffees and examples set by the Kabng'etuny Women in Coffee Association have begun to take the lead in the development of the highest quality coffees produced in the region. The movement which was started back 2015 to empower women coffee farmers in the Kapkiyai Cooperative to earn an income independent from their husbands for the first time. Female farmers in Kenya rarely owned land or coffee bushes, despite contributing up to 70 - 80% of the labour required to plant, grow and harvest coffee.
Fairtrade Africa recognize Kabngetuny as one of the first cooperatives to incorporate gender mainstreaming within its operations. The support for the movement initially was met with heavy opposition culturally by farmers who refused to give up land and coffee bushes, until the husbands of the women stepped in to directly support and get behind the movement. They transferred full ownership of land and coffee bushes exclusively to their wives to produce and be completely in charge of their own coffee productions and harvest. This was the opportunity and spark the industry needed to present as an economic and fair opportunity for the sacrifice and hardships these women for so long have had to endure and persevere. The movement still meets many challenges, but every harvest has been an opportunity to empower more women and the coffee sector in the region. Along with the women, many families have been directly impacted and have benefited as a direct result of the Kabngetuny Women in Coffee.
KABNGE’TUNY WOMEN IN COFFEE ASSOCIATION
The Women in Coffee Association was supported by Fair Trade to build capacity of 300 women coffee farmers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) towards increasing coffee quality and yield. Fair Trade have supported adoption & construction of domestic biogas units for 300 households of Women-in-Coffee members reducing over-reliance on firewood and charcoal. The bio-slurry waste from biogas plants is then used as a cheap source of organic fertilizer for sustainable production of coffee and other food crops.
Over 80% of the women’s production is mainly AA & AB grades of Arabica coffee and their coffee is handled separately during all the processing stages.
Through coffee plants allocated and revenue raised the women and support from Fairtrade Africa:
Membership has grown from 162 to 380 and are Fair Trade Certified.
Coffee production has increased to 624 bags in 2018.
They initiated a poultry project.
Have purchased a maize mill machine worth approximately $25,000.
Purchased a piece of land for the maize mill plant and are in the process of acquiring an additional one.
Have an ongoing of biogas project for the members with 296 bio-gas huts completed.
Have capacity building for all members on good agricultural practices.
Plan to launch their own roasted coffee label in 2019 called Zawadi which means “Gift” in Kiswahili.