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Kilicafe: Helping Farmers in Tanzania Increase Their Coffee's Quality

Kilicafe is an association comprised of more than 12,000 small-scale coffee farmers. The association provides marketing and export services to its members and also plays a vital role in helping its members obtain financing to improve the quality of their coffee. Because of this increase, Kilicafe was able to shift its sales from local markets to higher-priced export markets.

Farmer Profile: Shiwahiade Munuo

A few years ago, Tanzanian coffee farmer Shiwahiade Munuo almost gave up growing coffee, and for good reason. Because the low-tech method she was using to process her coffee could not consistently produce a high-quality product, Shiwahiade could only get very low prices for her coffee. And despite joining Kishisha Farmer Association (part of Kilicafe) in 2004, she struggled to make a living.

Since 2006, Root Capital has provided Kilicafe with financing that has allowed the cooperative to purchase depulping machines, washing stations, and other equipment. With these new machines, Kilicafe has increased coffee quality, created employment, decreased polluted water by 80 percent, and increased income by 50 percent.

Kilicafe has received over $4 million in long and short-term financing from Root Capital.

Since they began receiving financing from Root Capital, Kilicafe’s direct export sales have grown significantly, driven by demand from specialty markets.

Root Capital loans have made a difference in the lives of farmers like Shiwahiade. With the depulping machines and washing stations financed by Root Capital, Shiwahiade has been able to double her earnings by selling high-quality coffee.  She notes, “Our kids no longer have to help us with work, so they have time to sit down and study for school.”