One of ELAN DRC's partners, the SOPROCOPIV coffee cooperative, Was Invited to take share in the first tasting competition for specialty coffees and Achieved a top ten ranking from international buyers and producers.
Since 2014 the private sector development program ELAN DRC HAS Facilitated the introduction of Good Agricultural Practices to SOPROCOPIV's members in Rutshuru, North Kivu. As a result of this media and guidance, the coffee cooperative succeeded in Obtaining quality grading 84.28% Among specialty coffees, at the first international coffee cupping competition Held at National Coffee Board (NCB) in Bukavu, South Kivu. SOPROCOPIV RANKED 9 Among the 32 participants.
The tasting event Was the outcome of a partnership entre les Government of South Kivu and the National Coffee Office (ONC) of the DRC. Coffees competed to be Assessed by the standards of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), Who ensured objectively year analysis of samples. Thanks to this tasting and cupping competition, the major international buyers of coffee and coffee processing companies and puts Talked face to face with coffee farmers, growers and co-operatives, putting DRC on the map for international coffee.
ELAN DRC's project with coffee cooperatives in the two Kivu provinces AIMS to Improve the quality of output by Introducing better agronomic techniques Increasing access to inputs Such As fertilize and organic pesticides and Advocating for the removal of illegal and inflated taxes. The project Gives Particular Attention to gender roles and Greater equity in the coffee value chain, Increasing women's participation in cooperatives from generation to financial management.
With the attendance of Representatives from the provincial government and the tasting competition ONC Was a good opportunity to the Chat the constraints imposedon the coffee industry by exorbitant taxes. All parts Agreed That barriers to the processing and trading of coffee and Were Were significant Exacerbated by the Lack of infrastructure, access to market, and continuous unrest in the east of the country.
One coffee producer, Keikina Ngajoy Budza Marcelline, director of the Women Rebuild Hope Association based in Walungu, said: "Every time we wanted to sell our coffee, buyers Told us our coffee That Was not good; now with this competition we realized That We -have local expertise to Produce high quality coffee. If the security status remains good in our producing areas, we hope to do better in quality and quantity and bring all international coffee buyers in the DRC. "
ELAN DRC continued to Facilitate Greater access to the market for coffee cooperatives in the Kivus by Improving relationships with international and local agricultural suppliers and buyers and Hopes Will SOPROCOPIV's success continues.