Kiamabara Coffee Factory is located in Nyeri County near Karatina Town, and together with Gatina it comprises the Mugaga Farmer Cooperative Society (FCS). The factory was built was in the early 1980’s to process cherry from the neighboring farms. The factory is run by a factory manager who reports to the society’s secretary manager. The factory has 3 representatives in the Society management committee. Kiamabara uses the Kingu river as its local water source. The factory is receiving assistance from our partner Coffee Management Services (CMS). The long term goal is to increase coffee production through farmer training, input access, Good Agricultural Practice seminars, and a sustainable farming handbook updated and distributed annually. Our wish is to establish a transparent, trust based relationship with the farmer, helping to support a sustained industry growth in Kenya, whilst bringing premium quality to our customers, and premium prices to the farmers.
Through the pre-financing they receive, farmers are given advances for school fees and farm inputs. The factory manager is re-trained every year by CMS, in addition to field days being held by the minister of agriculture and agrochemical companies that deliver inputs to the farmers. Demonstration plots are planted at the factory to reinforce the best practices taught throughout the year.
After picking, ripe cherry is brought to the factory before it undergoes processing to remove the skin and pulp – known as the wet processing method. Wastewater is discarded in soaking pits, and is also recirculated for conservation. The factory is using a disc pulper with three sets of discs to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that is protecting the green coffee bean. After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, before it is cleaned, soaked and spread out on the raised drying tables. Time on the drying tables depends on climate, ambient temperature and volumes under processing, and can take from 7 to 15 days in total.