Canada’s Minister of International Development Visits MEDA Kenya: A Closer Look at Sustainable Coffee Farming in Kenya

Above: Ahmed Hussen, Canada's Minister of International Development, visiting MEDA's LEGEND project.

On September 5, 2023, MEDA’s Leveraging Equality for Gender-Inclusive Economic Development (LEGEND) project had the privilege of hosting the Honorable Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of International Development. The Minister visited the lead firm, Caffe Del Duca Ltd (CDDL) for a courtesy call and discussed the benefits of the firm’s collaboration with the GAC-funded MEDA M-SAWA project.

During the project implementation, CDDL operated in the western region of Kenya in the target Counties of Bungoma and Busia. They mobilized more than 1,300 small-scale coffee farmers with more than 40% women participation and provided capacity building on topics related to the coffee value chain, including gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) and environmental sustainability (ES). CDDL integrated six coffee cooperatives into their supply chain and supported hundreds of small-scale farmers in adopting sustainable technologies such as biodegradable plotting sleeves, knapsacks, secateurs, and pruning saws, which are crucial for coffee tree maintenance and productivity. This was made possible through the MEDA-GAC grant.

The project primarily contributes to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Climate Action, and secondarily supports innovation and industry. Minister Hussen commended MEDA for its remarkable work in supporting initiatives that empower women and young people, as well as raising awareness about climate change adaptation. He also emphasized that with the right awareness campaigns, African coffee can access premium and sustainable markets on the global stage. Kimani Mungai, Senior International Assistance Officer at GAC, reiterated that youth involvement in projects significantly benefits families.

Also present at the visit were Janine Cocker, Head of Cooperation at GAC; Helal Ahsan Ul Haque, Senior Regional Director at ESCA MEDA; Geoffrey Juma, Country Director of MEDA Kenya; Ellio Lolli, CEO of Caffe Del Duca Ltd; and two coffee farmers, Leonard Murwayi and Jane Gachoka.

Geoffrey Juma expressed his gratitude for the support of the Canadian government through MEDA. He reiterated that Canadian government investment in Caffe Del Duca Ltd and other private sector players is helping improve the lives of thousands of Kenyan farmers. He also called for more resources from the donor community to be dedicated to supporting sustainable economic growth projects in Africa.

To create a safer, cleaner, and more sustainable future for the most vulnerable people in Kenya and worldwide, MEDA actively collaborates with strategic partners to promote decent job creation for beneficiaries. MEDA recognizes the Canadian government as a crucial partner in developing sustainable agriculture and reducing poverty through sustainable development efforts.

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  • MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

    MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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