Kaderes Peasants Development Plc (KPD) is a coffee co-operative located in Karagwe, northwest Tanzania.
Kaderes Peasants Development Plc (KPD) was formed in January 2008, the aim being to facilitate farmers to obtain fair prices as at the time farmers were selling their produce to local traders through middlemen at very low prices.
The initial membership of KPD was 34 and has now grown to 300. When membership passed 50 in 2011, the organisation was required by law to be registered as a public limited, changing its name in October 2011 to KPD Plc.
Most members of the co-operative are native Wanyambo people who practice mixed farming. As a result of political instability in neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, Karagwe has been receiving immigrants from other ethnic origins like Wakiga, Wanyarwanda and Wahima. In addition there are a significant number of people of the Wahaya and Wasubi tribes from Bukoba.
They are all subsistence farmers who depend on crops like maize, yams and cassava along with bananas, beans and robusta coffee as cash crops, of which coffee the most important in terms of export earnings.
The farmers harvest, sort and dry their coffee before it is collected by KPD and delivered to the curing mill. Here it is processed into green coffee, bagged and stored ready for export. The coffee is either sold through the Tanzania coffee board auction or direct to buyers. Coffee sold through auction is transported by KPD to Kemondo warehouse in Bukoba ready to be collected by the buyers, while coffee sold to the direct market is transported to the port in Bukoba.
The objectives of KPD are:
- To educate and train farmers in all matters regarding their rights and obligations in managing their economic and financial activities.
- To support the farmers to establish, upgrade, strengthen and manage their farmers’ organisations.
- To support farmers in improving productivity and coffee quality in order to receive better prices for their coffee by providing modern agriculture equipment, technical training, an organic conversion programme and adequate storage facilities.
- To strengthen and develop the organisation to increase its bargaining power, access commodity market information, access credit and financial services and provide loans to farmers.
Benefits of Fairtrade
KPD members produced 115,200kg of coffee in 2011, all of which was sold to Fairtrade buyers. KPD is paid the Fairtrade Minimum Price for these sales plus the additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business and community improvements agreed by members.
KPD members are located in villages where services like electricity, email, fax and landlines are not available. In most areas the existing primary schools and secondary schools were constructed using resources from the community and are partly supported by the government, however these schools require expansion and improved conditions. The other area of concern is the lack of medical centres and pharmacies – most of the villagers have to travel up to 40km to the nearest government hospital in Kayanga town to access medical services. An estimated 40 per cent of people in the wider Kagera region live in absolute poverty
KPD members intend to invest the additional income from Fairtrade sales, including the Fairtrade Premium, in strengthening KPD’s business operations and supporting productivity and quality improvements. They will also invest in improving community infrastructure and alternative income generating schemes to contribute to alleviating poverty among members’ communities.