What happens if you harvest great quality coffee but you don’t have anywhere to process it? This is the situation that many farmers face in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is one of the many reasons why JavaJog for a Cause chose to fund the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) Congo Chapter’s project to support women coffee farmers in Lubarika and Ndolera village and Uvira Territory to build their own coffee washing station. The $20,000 grant awarded by Java Jog for a Cause, matched with additional funding provided by Food for the Hungry USA, was used to purchase equipment and provide infrastructure support for processing their coffee.
Chantal Binwa, the President of Tuungane Coffee Growers Cooperative & President of IWCA DR CONGO reported happily that the project is now complete. The project included:
– Water filter and reservoir for the washing of coffee
– Shed and sink for cherry reception
– Shed for cherry machinery
– Fermentation Sinks
– Coffee grader and washing canal
– Sinks to Soak coffee
– Cherry machinery installation
Chantal visits the project site with technicians.
Ms. Binwah provided us with a detailed look at the system they are implementing and how this will impact the area, “Our 3 disc pulper with Aagaard pregrader system has the processing capacity of 3 tons an hour. For that, we allow to process 450,000 kgs of cherry during all the harvest period. With this production, we’ll attend 1500 small women’ coffee growers and others from Uvira, Walungu and Fizi Territories.” She explains that the washing station was conceived to process the two variety of coffee : Arabica and Robusta.
Not only will the washing station be very beneficial for women members of TUUNGANE COOPERATIVE, it will help the women further meet their goal of establishing their rights and position within society through economic empowerment.