Through the USAID Feed the Future-funded Strengthening Value Chains (SVC) Project, CQI worked to increase incomes and improve coffee quality in the Eastern DRC regions of Kabare, Kalehe, and Idjwi. Implemented by a Tetra Tech-led consortium, the goal of the SVC Activity is to increase income from, and access to, nutrient-rich crops by linking farmers to inclusive value chains and supportive market services.
Led by the non-profit organization TechnoServe, SVC’s coffee component focused on the development of the high-altitude heirloom Specialty Arabica coffee sector in the territories of Kabare, Kalehe and Idjwi, with special emphasis on improving specialty coffee quality and productivity. By increasing coffee income for smallholder farmers, the SVC project sought to provide a long-term economic incentive for community peacebuilding efforts.
In 2019 and 2021, CQI delivered the Q Processing Level 2 Course to more than 45 key coffee producers, SVC project staff, and mill owners, managers, and employees. As a direct result of these trainings, key coffee value chain actors were exposed to important quality standards at the onset of the season and were trained in correct use of technologies and equipment to help refine the science and art of processing. Individuals who passed all the necessary exams became certified CQI Q Processing Level 2 Professionals and are now recognized as key contributors to the DRC coffee industry.
By including SVC project staff, including TechnoServe Business Advisors, CQI supported the project in meeting its goal to provide training to 15,000 coffee producing households over a five-year period, and provide technical assistance to cooperatives and other market players to strengthen the value chain specialty coffee in South Kivu, DRC.
In addition, the CQI Q Processing Instructors who delivered these courses provided key inputs and recommendations for the SVC Project and TechnoServe Business Advisors to focus on throughout the remaining years of implementation, deepening the support provided to producers and processors.