Muchele is a 60-year-old coffee farmer who lives in Bungoma county. He was a maize and sugarcane farmer before shifting to coffee farming. As various sugar companies in his region collapsed, he was having major issues receiving payment for his sugarcane. His income is much more stable now that he works as a coffee producer supplying to Caffe del Duca Ltd. (CDDL), a coffee processor which offers him a good price and consistently purchases all of his produce.
Through the M-SAWA project, funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), MEDA partnered with CDDL starting in March 2018 to support farmers like Muchele. Muchele has benefited from a number of trainings and capacity building opportunities that enabled him to implement good agronomic practices and increase his coffee production. For example, Muchelle says: “I now know that I need to plant trees that can give shade to the coffee tree and act as manure.”
The M-SAWA project also enabled Muchele to receive discounted tools like secateurs (pruning shears) that help him maintain his coffee trees, even in times of low rainwater. As a member of a coffee farmers group in his locality he is also able to access subsidized portable coffee drying tables available to all group members.
M-SAWA has also supported the establishment of collection centers used to train farmers on modern techniques for drying coffee cherries. Muchele notes that when he first began working with CDDL there was no center in his area so he is pleased that he now has one much closer to him, enabling him to access more training activities and support from the company.
The project has improved Muchele’s knowledge on coffee tree farming, increasing his productivity on the farm while CDDL provides a ready market for his dried coffee cherries. He has used the money earned from his coffee business to help educate his 10 children.
Muchele plans to continue farming coffee given the stable market, hoping that prices will increase further. He is concerned that changing climatic conditions might make coffee farming challenging going forward which emphasizes the importance of the environment and climate change activities also implemented through M-SAWA. Muchele plans to complement his income by growing fruits and subsistence farming.