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Booster shot: Zimbabwe coffee revival paying dividends

The world almost lost Zimbabwe’s coffee due to climate and political issues, but farmers joined Nespresso’s Reviving Origins programme with a plan to bring it back.

Coffee plantation in eastern Zimbabwe. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – With an authentic and inviting Zimbabwean feel, Nespresso launched Reviving Origins - a new programme to restore coffee farming in regions where it is under threat.

Through its AAA Sustainable Programme, Nespresso is working with farmers in areas that have been blighted by conflicts, economic hardships or environmental disasters.

One of the origins, Tamuka mu Zimbabwe (meaning arise), has revived coffee farmers’ financial situations.

Midway Bhunu, coffee programme manager at TechnoServe Zimbabwe, said coffee contributes to economic activity in the eastern part of the country.

“Volume has increased by 7% and the quality has also increased. Fifty percent of the people participating in this programme are women. Jobs have been created.”

Bhunu added that farmers are now able to make investments and pay for their children’s school fees.

The Reviving Origins programme was started in Zimbabwe in 2017 and the aim is to support farmers in a sustainable way.

In the late 1980s, Zimbabwean coffee farmers produced over 15,000 tons of coffee, however, production almost came to a complete halt because of climate factors and economic instability in the country. By 2017, production levels were at less than 500 tons.

Bhunu said this project allowed them to identify the challenges that were addressed through a training programme. Modules included coffee harvesting and processing.

“After training the farmers, the quality improved from 26% to 59%. The farmers are earning in US dollars now. The commitment they have towards coffee is resulting in a lot of change.”

TAMUKA MU ZIMBABWE COFFEE PROFILE

Tamuka mu Zimbabwe bursts with complex fruitiness and zesty, bright acidity, with notes ranging from cranberry, red berries, currant to grape. It has a creamy, smooth texture when you add milk.

The coffee gets a split roast. The first split is light and short – it brings out the sweetness in the coffee.

The second split is a dark and long roast – it helps balance out the tastes and aromas and gives the coffee its smoothness.

Tamuka mu Zimbabwe was launched in Hyde Park, Johannesburg last week and is available in various Nespresso outlets.

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