Nyeri County lies on the western slope of the highest mountain in the country – Mt.Kenya (5199m). Due to the altitude (farms are located at 1280 – 1970 m.a.s.l.), fertile red volcanic soils and tropical climate. Coffee from Nyeri is considered one of the best in Kenya, and the entire region is called “The Champagne Region of Coffee”. Despite this, for several years of the 21st century,Nyeri’s coffee industry experienced stagnation for economic reasons.
Until 2014, the Rui Ruiru Processing Station, which was part of the Mathira North Cooperative, was renowned for producing high-quality coffee. However, it has ceased working and began to decline. In 2020, through the Ministry of Agriculture and the Nyeri County Government, representatives of Rui Ruiru Station, headed by the village headman Charles Maina, reached out to Crowd Farm Africa to help them revive the factory.
Due to its dilapidated condition, including a broken down coffee pulping machine, we agreed to help Rui Ruiru start the production of natural coffee, including anaerobic processing. In the first year, the station was able to resume work and collected 24,000 kg of coffee cherries. In 2021, production doubled to 60,000 kg of berries. Thanks to our support to the entrepreneurs, we involved other partners in the restoration of the coffee station and managed to build two greenhouses to help them dry the berries.
Rui Ruiru Coffee factory now produces natural coffee that is finally processed at the New Kenya Planters Co-operative Union station. As a result, many local households have begun to rehabilitate their coffee plantations, the income from which will help farmers educate their children, take care of their health and improve the infrastructure of their homes. In addition, this project is a source of employment for thousands of those involved in the coffee value chain.
All coffee is carefully selected by hand before delivery to the collection center. Then, the berries are placed in containers with all the air being completely pumped out for 72 hours.
After that, the coffee is dried until the skin of the berries acquires a pronounced dark color, and the bean is completely separated from the dried pulp, which can be heard by the characteristic tapping of the bean in the middle of the dried shell. Drying lasts until the moisture content in the bean reaches 12%. After drying, the berries are collected in bags so that the bean exchanges moisture.
The last stage – the bean is sent to the huller to remove all the upper layers. The final product is packed in 60-kg jute bags with GrainPro protection and sent for export