About Tekangu Farmer's Co-operative Society
Tekangu Farmers Co-operative Society (TFCS) is located in Karatina Division, Nyeri District, Central Province of Kenya. The Nyeri District forms part of the rich agricultural areas in Central province and it is situated on the slopes of the snow capped Mount Kenya. The Coffee society headquarters is about one and a half hours drive north of Nairobi on an all weather road.
TFCS has about 3161 active farmers out of which 2900 are registered growing Arabica coffee and three wet processing factories: Tegu, Karogoto and Ngunduru. Farmers here are predominantly from the Kikuyu tribe and they are also involved in horticulture farming with a ready market in Karatina town. The fertile red soil and ample rainfall provides a great potential for high production of quality coffee. The now certified coffee will offer the small scale farmers an additional advantage of getting better returns for their coffee.
Tekangu and UTZ CERTIFIED
Tekangu was chosen for the UTZ CERTIFIED project due to its potential for improvement given the natural attributes of Nyeri District as a coffee growing area. This region is renowned for its high quality production whose cup is known for its bright citrus acidity, full body, with blackcurrant and chocolate flavors. The society is well organized facilitating easy implementation of the program.
Improved production, quality and crop husbandry, achieving sustainable yields and returns, prompt and better payments, availability of quality affordable agro-inputs, fast and easy retrieve of information at Tekangu FCS, sound processing practices and choice of markets based on sound market information were long cherished expectations of Tekagu coffee farmers. These became a reality and are no longer a mirage with the inception, adoption and the implementation of the UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside standard.
The Tekangu farmers are much more aware now about the importance of protecting the enviroment. Through the responsible use of agrochemicals the nature is not unnecessary strained. Areas with indogenous and exotic trees are well conserved. The biodiversity is enhanced by a tree plating project embraced by the whole community.
Training on effective use and handling of chemicals at his farm.
To achieve certification, a number of projects was implemented. The farmers were clustered in groups that were easily to be trained and managed. Demonstration plots were set up where the other farmers were able to see best practices and Sustainable Handbooks were distributed to the farmers. An IT platform was installed and training was provided so that traceability was made easily accessible for farmers and management. 76 promoter farmers, assistant promoter farmers, factory processing team and Tekangu FCS management team were taken to the high profile Coffee Research Foundation training school for a full course on good agricultural practices, book keeping, coffee farming and quality processing.
As a result of the certification, the quality improved significantly and the coffee of Tekangu received the highest prices in the auction of December 2007.
In the course of implementation of the UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct the Tekangu members grew together and learned to act as a team and support each other. A number of committees were elected and these workers represent the position of the members to the management. Issues affecting the wellbeing of the farmers are discussed with them. So was it decided to build new houses instead of reparing the old ones which very in a very bad shape. For the workers who are not living on the farm receive house allowance so that they and their families can have a decent home.
Coffee growing has evolved from tradition to business.
Patrick Nairangu, Vice Chairman
"We are delighted with what we have achieved since being UTZ CERTIFIED. Production has increased by 64% in the period from 2008-2009"