Why drink coffee from Igegania Cooperative in Kenya?
Igegania means “Wonders” in Kikuyu language. Igegania Co-op is composed of a group of small-scale coffee farmers and is located in Gatundu North sub-county of Kiambu County. Igegania was built by the original members on a voluntary basis to improve their livelihoods through coffee farming. This was at a time when Kenya was transitioning from colonialism to self-rule. The Co-op thrived until the 1990’s when local politics led to the demise of the Co-op and by the late 1990s the Co-op was dead. It was to revive in 2019 with the vigor and dedication of the original founder members.
The co-op is currently investing in the member farmers and educating them on sustainable farming methods with emphasis on organic farming and environmental preservation.
Kenyan coffee has around 700,000 farmers, most of whom are smallholder farmers with less than 1 acre of farmland.
Support Services Igegania Offers Its Farmer Members
Services offered to Co-op Farmer Members:
1. CREDIT SERVICES: The co-op offers credit services to its farmers by giving advances against cherry and parchment deliveries on valuation within seven days of application.
2. AGRONOMY SERVICES: The co-op has an extensive agronomy network that covers all the coffee producing areas with qualified agronomists. To offer the best agricultural practice and keep pace with changes, the agronomists undergo constant training to ensure that new technology is adopted and passed on to the farmers.
3. PROVISION OF INPUTS FOR SUSTAINABLE COFFEE PRODUCTION: The co-op has established a working relationship with farm input suppliers where farmers can collect their farm supplies. The co-op is in the process of obtaining bulk farm inputs sourced directly and competitively from suppliers to ensure the success of its IPIQ (Increased production and Improved Quality) program to provide farmer members resources and improve productivity.