About Ndumberi Coffee Farmers Cooperative
Ndumberi Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society (NCFCS) is situated in an area which forms part of the rich agricultural areas in Central Province, Kenya and on the slopes of the Aberdares mountains. Its headquarter is located about 30 minutes drive north west of the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
The Aberdares are well known as the place that Queen Elizabeth II became the Queen of Great Britain and North Ireland, while visiting the famous lodge Treetops, following the death of his father King George IV in February 1952.
Ndumberi Coffee Farmers Co-op Society (NCFCS), which is currently composed of three factories viz. Ndumberi, Ngaita and Riabai, was formed in 1960. It was opened by the First Kenyan Prime Minister then, who later became the founding father of the Kenyan nation Mzee Jomo Kenyatta on 30th June 1962. At the time the society had only one factory with 432 members. Today the society has 3 wet mills serving a membership of 2516 whose benefit extends to over 10,000 families. The average number of coffee trees per farmer is about 200 (0.15 ha)
The project area consists of small-scale farmers who grow coffee as the main cash crop. Some horticultural crops are also grown which have a ready market at Nairobi city. Other crops grown on subsistence level include maize and beans that form the staple food, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, bananas, arrowroots and cassava.
For many years coffee has been a constant revenue earner for most rural families in this area contributing to better levels of living standard and educating their children in the higher schools of learning.
The certification project has been implemented through organization of member groups led by Promoter and Assistant Promoter farmers at the farmer level. A Field Officer employed in this project assists the promoter farmers using a motor bike bought by the project. The overall implementation has been guided by the Project Management Team composed of representatives from Coffee Support Network, World Bank through Deloitte and Touche, Ndumberi FCS executive management and farmer representative. Factory improvement and the health clinic projects are implemented by Coffee Support Network and Sangana Commodities Ltd through the Project Management Team.
The following have been achieved since the start of this project this year:
- Training farmers on Good Agricultural Practices
- Training farmers and workers on Good Processing Practices
- Training promoters and workers on health and safety working procedures
- Keeping of farm records by all farmers and development of a data base at the society
- Development of a Quality Management System for the society
- Overall quality improvement both at the farm and factory levels
- Improved yields through coffee husbandry improvement
- Enhanced coffee payment through faster coffee milling and sales
- Improvement on processing facilities in all the three factories
- Increased market access through production of quality coffee
Ndumberi & UTZ CERTIFIED
The society's vision is to produce the best quality coffee using sustainable, good agricultural and processing practices that will lead to higher production of coffee. This will ensure better returns to our farmers for its sustainability and improvement of their livelihood.
Being the second Utz kapeh certified cooperative means we have demonstrated to the world what private and public partnership can be achieved and we now lead the way to show the other cooperatives. Our hard work will ensure efficiencient production of good quatity coffee, better cooperative management and improved payment to the farmers.
Our expectations are that NCFCS will gain market access in the coffee world and act as a model of what small scale farmers can achieve through partnership with the private sector. We hope to realise the best coffee prices, increase our market linkage and attract other partners in other social projects that will improve the livelihood of our farmers.
Our society is now certified and factory renovations and improvements are in progress from the assistance provided by Coffee Support Network and Sangana Commodities Ltd of Ecom Group. Our farmers have formed groups and elected promoter farmers, they have been trained on Good Agricultural Practices, factory workers have been trained on Good Processing Practices through the World Bank funding. The CSN has also provided us with a computer equipment for better data storage and management as well as a motor bike. The promoter farmers have been taught First Aid and the worker's on fire fighting techniques. More trainings have been scheduled before December 2006. The Four Square of Britain is to start a social project on a health clinic and the local Catholic church will provide the personnel. In short the project activities continue to run till next year from the support by CSN, World Bank and Sangana while the Health Clinic will be a long term relationship.
Impact on our farm
At all levels we have been able to keep records both at the farms and the wet mills. Improved coffee farming techniques have been adopted, concerns regarding impact on farming to our environment have been better understood. Sanitary facilities at the wet mill have been well addressed with improvement on the waste disposal and general sanitation for our workers.
The coffee marketing has been improved through the opening of the second window and we hope to reap better coffee prices.Sasini Coffee and Tea will have a new parchment mill by the end of the year and pave way to competition on milling that may reduce the cost of milling.
More and more societies are coming to find out from us on how they can become UTZ CERTIFIED.