Kissizi #039 coffee is part of a project going into its 3rd year with Kingha Estates outgrowers. Kingsley Griffin, the owner of Kingha Estate, is committed to working with local farmers to improve their income and believes different processing protocols have the potential to increase quality. All their coffees with the name Kingha Collective are coffees from small farms in the Kanungu District, the same Western region as the Kingha Estate.
The entire lot is made from cherry, all locally grown SL-14, -28 & -34 varieties, grown by farmers closely surrounding the Kingha Estate in Uganda’s South/Western region.
Uganda > Kinungo > Bwindi
Origin type: Association
No. of farms: 500
Farm size: 2 ha
Kingha Estate is located in a pretty remote area in the southwest, about ten hours drive from Kampala. It is a farm currently being planted, aiming at soonhaving about 12 hectares planted with coffee, SL 28 variety only. It also operates as a washing station for small-scale farmers (outgrowers). There are a lot of smallholders there, but hardly any companies are investing in the value chain or doing quality. It’s next to national parks for both Gorillas and other games. The coffee from the farm itself is named Kingha Estate. The coffee from the outgrowers is called Kingha Collective.
Kingsley Griffin, originally from Canada, was a school teacher who decided to start with a coffee farm in Uganda after a Gorilla hike. He bought a piece of land and figured it would be easy but quickly realized coffee farming and processing is more complicated than it seems. After some years, Kingsley is totally on top of things and only focuses on quality. Besides producing coffees from he’s farm, he is also working with some carefully selected outgrowers in the region.
They have also accessed grants for a water power solution to provide electricity to local schools and a church – more info TBA.
Kingsley and Kingha Estate is also part of the World coffee research variety program.
GENERAL FARMER INFO
Most farmers have an average of about 1 hectare. Some have about 2ha, some families over 9ha.
They will usually have 700-800 trees per half a hectare. The average yield is about 700kg of green kernels per hectare.
PRICE FOR CHERRY
Kingsley buys 1000 – 1300 Ugandan shillings per kg for the higher quality.
Even if the farm area for coffee is small, they usually have bigger plots cultivated with other crops. It is difficult for farmers to find the labor to work the land and selectors for the coffee. Going price is 5000 shillings + lunch for a short day.
To organize transport and trucks to collect cherries is expensive. Kingsley generally buys cherries three days per week in the season. He will communicate with the lead farmers in the group about the time for purchase. He also has to invest in training to make the farmers perform better on quality, yield and picking, and have an agronomist in charge of this. He will generally send his cherry buyers to the areas with the truck; they will approve the purchase when the cherry quality is there and reject it if not. Or demand sorting.
Buying cherry is a cash business. They have to manage large amounts of cash during the harvest, build a network of trusted employees and lead farmers who again pay the individual producers against the receipt for delivery. There is often money lost in the supply chain. In addition, it is difficult to access the actual cash as the local bank often is out of more significant amounts.
SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENT
Along with growing great coffee, Kingha Coffee is dedicated to increasing the income and livelihood of Ugandan coffee farmers. They work directly with farmer households, providing education and training programs, thereby helping farmers to produce higher yields and better quality coffee, significantly increasing their income. Kingha Coffee also works with local schools, providing clothing, school supplies, and agricultural education programs within the local community.
Recently, they have been working on creating a micro-hydro power station at the base of Kingha estate, where a portion of the Entenjari River runs through it. The power station, when completed, will provide a consistent source of renewable energy sufficient to power the local health center, two primary schools, a secondary school, and the estate’s power needs. The electricity generated will be given to the local community free of charge.
Kingha Coffee believes in giving back to the community that has given them so much and is very proud to be part of the local community. They provide community development through job creation and market access. During the peak harvest season, they employ over 85 local Ugandans, meaning Kingha Coffee is one of the largest employers in the district.
They do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides anywhere on their land and generate 95% of their electricity from solar cells. They believe in growing and processing coffee in harmony with the local environment and ensuring a sustainable and healthy present and future coffee supply.