Juhudi na Maarifa
The Juhudi na Maarifa group is located in Isansa village, Mbozi district in the South Western highlands of Mbeya, bordering Zambia. There is also a washing station affiliated to this group and the coffee is grown on a plateau surrounded by gently sloping hills.
The group was formed in 2009 when one farmer was recognised as being the Best Coffee Farmer in the local area. As a result, the Tanzania Coffee Board awarded him with a Coffee Processing Unit which he decided to use to mobilise his neighbouring coffee farmers in order to share his ideas on better farming practices and spread the cost of the machine maintenance. However, the group could not access the finance required to maintain and manage the washing station and the quality really suffered as a result. In 2014, the Juhudi na Maarifa group partnered with TEMBO Coffee Company who assisted with development of the project by providing working capital loans and capital expenditure. In the first year of the partnership, 28 metric tonnes of coffee was produced and there are high hopes for the coming season.
The Juhudi na Maarifa group also benefit from visitsby TEMBO’s sustainability staff who train the group’s farmers on best agricultural practices, input application methods and record keeping. During the harvest, TEMBO staff visit the washing station twice a week to ensure quality and inventory control is being adhered to and to explore options to increase production capacity.
There is also a quality control department which cup samples from each delivery to provide feedback to the farmers on harvesting and post-harvesting techniques which will help to improve the cup. The farmers handpick their cherry and deliver it to the washing station. Once there, the cherries are sorted to separate the ripes from the unripes before being pulped to remove the skin. They are then left to undergo dry fermentation for around 12-15 hours to loosen the mucilage before being washed with clean water. The washing process is repeated to ensure the coffee is clean before it is channelled through water to remove any floaters. Finally, the washed beans are taken to raised African beds to dry (which can take around 12-15 days) before being sorted and graded at TEMBO’s facility in Mbeya for export.
|Name||Juhudi na Maarifa|
|Location||Mbeya, Southern Highlands|
|Producer||Juhudi na Maarifa Coffee Group|
|Processing||Washed and sun-dried on African beds|
|Taste||Intense lemon acidity with hints of distant strawberry and peach. Full bodied and complex.|