Agro-ecology practices applied to coffee farming
PARTNER ORGANIZATION :
Kinyezire, Province of South Kivu
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
MUUNGANO (Coopérative Agricole Muungano) operates in Eastern Congo, in the region of Lake Kivu. The 1994 Rwandan genocide and the Congo civil war hit very hard on the small-scale coffee farmers of that area. In 2009, the founding of the cooperative Muungano (a term which means “togetherness” in Swahili) by initiative of 350 members gave a new hope to those communities. Since 2012, EFTA’s affiliate Oxfam Belgie has been supporting the steady growth of the organization, both in quantity and quality of their product. Currently the cooperative is grouping about 4,200 members, out of which more than one third are women. Muungano’s members are convinced that the main driver of their development is the improvement of both production capacity and quality, and they are consistently adopting the concept of agro-ecology as a mean to reach those objectives.
The project will support several members of the cooperative to implement agro-ecology practices (such as mulching the coffee fields, rejuvenating coffee plants, intercropping with other fruit trees, introducing shadow trees to reduce the impact of heavy rains and direct sun, applying anti-erosion hedges…). Besides specific training, participating farmers will receive a “starter kit” with pruning tools, a notebook and rubber boots. Furthermore, seeds of different shadow trees and fruit trees will be procured to start a nursery, which will be managed directly by the coop’s members.