Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sustainable coffee farming

When we decided to embark on this journey, we didnt have a Trust fund or Government grant sitting somewhere waiting to be utilised.....but we didnt need any money! You see i do not believe in Aid or donations for Africa....Hell no! i believe in Enterprise. Africa is rich! and especially my community. They have the Land and Labour ( the most important aspects in this plan). All they lack is the facilitation to access the International markets. And you see that the Strength of Chania Coffee; i tell my friends- we have the best of both worlds, We Produce coffee and we happen to live in a country that consumes / exports a lot of coffee without having a single bush! I live near the City of Hamburg Germany-The biggest transition point for coffee in the world is Hamburg!!!

According to figures released by Kenya Coffee Traders Association in 2012, Germany exports 30% of Kenyan coffee... so Lets do the maths...

Every single homestead has an approximate of 150 coffee bushes each, coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil (Ponte 2002). With our plan we intend to train the farmers on proper coffee cultivation methods, using means that are within ecological and social limits....our projections will be that in a few years every coffee bush can produce minimum 20 kilos.
Hence 150x20 = 2250 kilos get a price of average 100kshs ( i will use the Kenyan currency; but its approximate 1 euro per kilo).Cost of production according to our research is it takes 30-35 shillings to produce 1 kilogram of cherry.
:100-35 = 65x2250 is a profit of 146,250  ksh shillings (1,400 euro). 
This may sound as not so much money to an European mind  but its a big step to these farmers who currently get an average of 25 shillings per kilo (0.25 euro cents) gross payments.
Still on our calculations, we have farmers who even have even the capability of producing even more than 5,000 kilos....the sky is their limit!

Now tell me, if every homestead was assured of a minimum of 1,500 euro per season ( we have 2 coffee seasons) would these communities really need Aid? Remember they practise subsistence farming of maize and beans alongside coffee, so they dont need to buy food! they own the land and the homesteads, they dont need to pay rent! the proceeds from the coffee would cater for amenities like School fees, medical care and even save something for their old age!

Now you get the drift.... is that not sustainability? is that not a solution for Africa by Africans?
And what if one coffee bush could attain 40 kilo production-ITS POSSIBLE!! it has actually been done and its being done even in other coffee producing countries!

You must be wondering why i am doing this, but hej! can you imagine the kids from my community being able to go to school without a worry in the world? Thats why am doing this....i want those kids to be in school...i did amid struggles; this is my gift to them!

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