RCI's work in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Colombia focuses on increasing value throughout the supply chain by investing with growers in training and infrastructure at origin to deliver the highest-quality product to their buyers around the globe.
Through partnerships with Sustainable Harvest–Rwanda and the Government of Rwanda–Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, this project aims to improve the livelihoods of low-income women farmers through training that creates the basis for more transparent trade, improved quality, and higher prices.
Through the project, women farmers have been able to grow more from their small plots of land, have access to international buyers, reduce their exposure to financial commodity market risk, and improve the environmental sustainability of their communities.
The Rwanda project has made a substantial, tangible impact on the women farmers involved: They have nearly doubled their income from coffee and more than doubled their yield per coffee tree.
Democratic Republic of Congo
RCI has made strides toward training women farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo by participating in events like Saveur du Kivu and Coffee Week, and by partnering with women agronomists who are working for the ONC (Office National du Café). Through these efforts, more women are being granted land to plant coffee seedlings, providing opportunities to engage in the coffee industry and support their families.
Following last year's Saveur du Kivu event, women in attendance came together to create a platform where all women involved in the DRC's coffee value chain could join together and advocate for other women. The first meeting of this platform took place this fall in Goma, and was attended by women from all parts of the coffee value chain from across the country.
In Colombia, Coocentral's Café Mujeres (Women's Coffee) program encompasses 500 women coffee growers in the Huila municipalities of Garzón, Pital, and El Agrado. Through best agricultural practices training, the women learn technical skills in coffee harvesting, fermentation, and drying that they use to develop a differentiated cup profile with added value.