Karawa Coffee Project

Working with nearly 2,000 small-scale farmers, we seek to reduce extreme poverty, enhance food security, and develop sustainable agricultural practices through the revitalization of coffee production in northwest Congo.

Paul Carlson Partnership, Cafe Africa, and the CEUM believe that together, the revitalization of Robusta coffee has the potential to improve the local farmers’ livelihoods and the economy, and supporting the local church in the years to come.

The goals of the Karawa Coffee Project is:

  • to train farmers to properly grow, prune, and harvest coffee;

  • to train growers to prepare the coffee for sale;

  • to set-up local growers associations for support;

  • to help with marketing the coffee by training the associations to function as cooperatives.

Since January 23, 2018, the Karawa Coffee Project (KCP) has signed up 1,347 farmers, verified 20 sites for the nurseries, established 20 nurseries, and completed much of the planting in the Karawa region.

“I chose to participate in the coffee project to plan for the future of my children.”
Wedia Gbabolo

Karawa Coffee Project Numbers

  • 1,347 farmers are enrolled with the program and have various sizes of plots for coffee

  • 87 villages involved

  • 5 hectares (12.35 acres) of coffee to be planted

  • One platte-band (seedbed) per ha so 961.5 seedbeds

  • 1,100 coffee bushes/hectares

  • 3 months after planting the seeds the young coffee seedlings will be transplanted into sacs in the nursery

  • 6 months in the nursery and then planted out in the field

  • First harvest starts after 3 years, full production in 5 years

  • KCP has hired 5 agronomists, one to oversee each axis and one as the overall supervisor

LEARN MORE

If you would like to learn more about the Karawa Coffee Project, please:

We are raising financial support to train farmers, plant seedlings, maintain nurseries, and support the coffee co-ops.

HISTORY OF COFFEE IN NORTHWEST CONGO

Between the 1970s and mid-90s, coffee was a major cash crop in the DRC. Tons of Robusta coffee was shipped out of the area to Kinshasa and then around the world. North and South Ubangi (where our partners live) used to be major coffee production regions during this time.

Unfortunately, due to the civil conflict and disease of the coffee trees, combined with a period of low prices (2000–2004), production in these provinces declined drastically. Logistics became almost impossible, traders no longer came to buy the crops due to low volumes, and processing capacity was largely destroyed in the civil unrest. The quick collapse of the coffee sector had a negative socio-economic impact on rural areas. Poverty, food insecurity, and lack of basic services such as education, health care, clean water and sanitation, all became a result of the collapse of coffee production and exportation.

However, today the revitalization of coffee is possible and represents hope for farmers and the local economy, because:

  • coffee remains a strong preference of the farmers as a cash crop;

  • demand both in the internal market and internationally for Robusta coffee, the type produced around Karawa, is growing rapidly;

  • production costs are low compared to other Robusta producing countries.

Climate change models have identified Congo to be one of the countries likely to have the best growing conditions in the world for coffee, looking 20–30 years ahead.