85% of the growers that make up Cooperative Coffee Rusiga Sector (KCRS), have their farms above 2000masl. An incredibly diverse crop production happens on these smallholder plots, legumes, beans, sweet potatoes and more can be grown in between the coffee trees. This allows income to be spread over the year as well as producing food for their own consumption. Typically, you’ll find very small family plots cultivating an average of 6 crops. This coffee is produced by women farmers. There are some male members of the families but the women took over ownership and charge of the land.
The support that a smallholder farmer often relies on has found to flourish under this structure and it is often now used as a methodology to help improve the coffee on a farm if an individual is struggling. We source the coffee through Kinini and Jacquie has been active in helping them to organise themselves since some of the women supplied coffee to them. As Jacquie herself says, “A few of them asked me for advice if I could help them form a cooperative and get training from us. We then made changes behind the scenes, got the paperwork in place after few days the cooperative was registered. They then made 12 groups depending on which village is near to them making training and travelling easy.”
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