Past

Kapkiyai FCS AA - Nandi, Rift Valley

Vava Coffee
Arabica

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  • 79 sales on Algrano
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Origin
Kenya
Producer
Vava Coffee
Variety
SL28, Ruiru 11, SL34, batian, k7
Process type
Fully washed
Altitude range
2000m - 2230m
Harvest period
November, 2022 - January, 2023
Seller's cupping score (SCA)
86.25 points
ID
KE-11-202211
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The coffee story

Located in the picturesque Nandi Hills (also known as the home of champions), the co-operative is nestled atop one of the topmost hills in the region. Nandi County is home to many world record holders in athletics, including Kipchoge Keino, Henry Rono, Eliud Kipchoge, Pamela Jelimo, Janeth Jepkosgei, Moses Tanui, Julius Yego, Jairus Birech, Conseslus Kipruto and Bernard Lagat.

If you were to visit Kapkiyai Farmers Cooperative a few years ago, you might have noticed something striking: all 38 members were men. At the time, women existed on the periphery of the coffee industry in Kapkiyai. Although women played essential roles in coffee production, such as picking ripe cherries and carrying the loads down the hills after harvest, men were the ones who owned the coffee trees, decision-making process, and the profits reaped from their production.

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Women on the rise
In 2010, Kapkiyai began to receive support from the Coffee Initiative and the training in both agronomy and the management of the co-operative and wet mill emphasized gender inclusion in the coffee industry. With time, Kapkiyai management began to see the potential of including women in the co-operative.

“Women are the ones that look after the children. They are the ones that work on the farms. They are the ones that bring the coffee down the hills (to the co-operative for processing). It was time for them to get involved in sales,” said Chairman David Saina. 

Kapkiyai held a special general meeting to discuss the advice put forth by the Coffee Initiative business advisors. At the meeting, which consisted of both board members and farmers, the co-operative passed the Kapkiyai Women in Coffee Resolution, granting women the right to become fully contributing members in the co-operative. Following the decision, a number of husbands gave their wives a segment of their own trees.

Today, 106 of the 398 members of the Kapkiyai Farmers Co-operative Society are women. Women also produced 55,000 kilograms of the 200,114 total cherries produced by Kapkiyai in 2015, a contribution that played a significant role in helping the co-operative purchase an eco-pulper, a new pulping machine that processes 1,500 kilograms of coffee cherry per hour. “Without women, we would not have this machine,” said Chairman Saina.

Women have also made inroads into the co-operative’s decision-making process by rising into leadership positions. Dorcas Jeptanui is both the Chairlady of the Women in Coffee group and a member of the co-operative’s management committee. In 2018, the women launched the first Fairtrade certified women-only coffee in the region, an initiative that we as Vava Coffee were humbled to be a part of. 

One of the project deliverables was to increase the coffee productivity & quality by training the women and male coffee farmers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), to increase coffee yields from an average of 1.8 kg of cherry per coffee bush to 3 kg of cherry per coffee bush. The quality of women coffee has also increased tremendously with the production of premium grades (AA, AB & PB) going from 25% of total production when the project started to more than 70% now.

The process

Cherries are handpicked, washed and soaked in fermentation tanks followed by drying on raised beds as well as covered elevated drying beds during the heavy rains.

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