In August 2018 we set up a micro-processing station in Sironko District, Eastern Uganda. Our processing station is now operational, equipped with a motorized Penagos pulping machine, fermentation tanks, solar dryers, compost and water treatment and purification systems.
Given the hard conditions in the mountains where our farmers are located, we made the difficult decision to instead set up our processing station in an area that was more accessible and warmer (so better for drying coffee).
We searched for land in the valley just beneath our farmers and were lucky to find a plot (or “Kabanja”). The land is a challenging one hour walk down the mountain from our farmers, but is right next to the source of a mountain spring.
In September 2018, we began to convert this sloping, rocky area into a micro-processing station.
Supported by an engineer and a number of young people from the nearby village - our team got to work. Within a few days we created three terraces and put up a fence. Soon, the foundations for our processing and fermentation rooms had been laid and before too long the roof was up.
Unfortunately, as the dry season ended, the torrential rains took their toll - delaying work and making it impossible at times to bring materials to the site. Taking advantage of the bursts of sunlight, the team continued and soon the solar dryers were being built.
To ensure that we were using the best possible materials and equipment, we contracted a number of companies for their support. Scogem Enterprises supplied the Penagos pulping machine equipped with a becolfer and capable of pulping up to 500 kg per hour. Balton Uganda provided materials and technical support for our solar dryers, Solar Now provided solar pumps for water, and Davis and Shirtilff provided a water filtration and purification system - used both by us and our neighbours.
We also have set up a septic tank and soak pits to treat fermented and waste water, as well as composts for coffee pulps - which we hope to turn into organic fertiliser for our farmers.