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Higher Coffee Incomes Transform Lives in Tanzania

TechnoServe works with coffee farmers to produce higher-quality beans for the premium coffee market.

“The year 2002 was the hardest of our lives,” Cecilia Kapinga recalls. Her oldest daughter was sick and needed an operation that cost the family their entire annual income. To allow their daughter to finish high school, Cecilia and her husband Filoteus were forced to sell off all their livestock, which represented their life savings.

With no coffee, livestock, or other source of income, Cecilia, Filoteus and their six children cut back to two meals a day - unleavened bread in the morning and a bowl of maize porridge at night. “We ate meat on Christmas and Easter... the rest of the time we were hungry.”

TechnoServe came in 2004. “They showed us how to improve the quality of our coffee, which has led to higher prices and more income.”

Higher incomes have led to a better life for Cecilia and her family. Once again the family has livestock. The house now has running water, saving Cecilia and her children three hours a day walking to and from the river carrying water in buckets.

“The extra time and money have enabled me to launch several new enterprises,” Cecilia explains. “I’ve begun a small fishery and purchased a machine to start a maize hulling business.”

“Our lives have changed so much... The biggest difference, though, is the confidence we have in our future and in our children’s future. God blessed us with the soil and climate to produce quality coffee. TechnoServe has shown us how to protect and deliver that quality to a market that pays good prices for it. We know the road we’re on and where it leads.”