From 2012 to 2016, the Mount Elgon Coffee and Honey Cooperative employed beekeeping to help coffee-growing households in the Mount Elgon region combat poverty and the effects of climate change. Through the establishment of a Community Based Trainer (CBBT) extension model for dispersing skills and knowledge to model farmers who then transfer the acquired skills and knowledge to fellow farmers, the project’s main objective is to promote beekeeping as a source of income diversification for smallholder coffee farmers. The farmers decided to establish Mount Elgon Coffee and Honey Co-Operative in order to continue bulking, adding value, and marketing the coffee and honey produced in 2016 following the successful application of beekeeping with coffee production among farmer members.
Green coffee beans, which had fluctuating prices, were one of the cooperative’s revenue sources. In order to diversify, the coop started roasting. Here is the progression of our coffee roasting process from the early stages of employing the stone and saucepan methods to outsourcing roasting services. We encountered inherent challenges with outsourcing, such as inconsistent quality and exorbitant expenses. The cooperative faced a variety of difficulties in adding value, including High cost of production, with a kilogram of coffee costing 4,500 shillings to roast and ground, as well as high transportation expenses.
Recently, Mount Elgon Coffee and Honey Co-Operative (MECAHC) acquired a coffee Roasting, grinding, and packaging machinery. As a result, sales of roasted coffee both domestically and internationally have increased in volume and revenue. This has been accomplished by making sure that deliveries are consistent in terms of quality, quantity, and timing.