By Drake Nyamugabwa
A Gorilla Conservation Café was opened in Entebbe, recenytly; aiming at conserving Gorillas and boost coffee production. This according to organizers is aimed at supporting coffee farmers around Bwindi National Park with a coffee blend dubbed: “Kanyonyi Coffee”, named after a famous Kanyonyi Gorilla, which unfortunately passed on a few weeks ago.
As one of the projects undertaken by Conservation; through Public Health-CTPH, with support from World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Switzerland, the initiative is to support farmers through an agreement with over 75 farmer groups. According to Dr Gladys Kalema Zikusoka, the founder and Chief Executive Officer; Gorilla Conservation Café, the famers under Bwindi Coffee Growers Cooperative, were trained in best practices of Coffee farming to produce quality coffee, which she says is then bought by the café at a premium price for processing in Kampala and packed for consumption.
“When WWF wanted to support conservation entrepreneurs, the idea to support coffee farmers was generated; we received a convertible loan of Euros100,000 from WWF for impact investment”
“We are in partnership with 75 registered farmers and other 375 women and youth laborers on the farms who are all members of the cooperative around Bwindi Park” she said, during an interview with ABCafrica reporter.
Dr. Kalema further said; since they started engaging coffee farmers fifteen years ago, the coffee production has doubled. “Farmers who are also rangers and ex-poachers have been trained to monitor gorillas, which are an alternative livelihood”, she added.
She in addition said Gorilla conservation is receiving $1.50 donation from each park of coffee, adding that there is more demand created for Arabica coffee among other benefits.
“We intend to expand the coffee with a cause to export to the US, and an EU markets”, she further pointed out.