Kenya – Gitura AB
This AB lot was produced by numerous smallholder farmers, all of whom are members of the Iyego Coffee Growers Cooperative Society (CGCS) delivering to Gitura Coffee Factory (as washing stations/wet mills are called in Kenya). The factory is located near the town of Kangema, in Kenya’s Muranga County.
Situated to the east of Aberdare ranges and South West of Mt. Kenya, Muranga County (formerly part of Kenya's Central Province) was home to the first administrative post (Fort Smith) set up by British missionaries in 1895. The area is inhabited and considered home to the Kikuyu people, Kenya’s largest ethnic group, accounting for nearly a 5th of the total population. Gitura, the name of the factory where this coffee was produced, is a Kikuyu word translating as locality. The land surrounding Muranga County is blessed with deep red volcanic soils, rich in organic matter and perfect for coffee farming.
First formed in 1964, Iyengo CGCS today operates 10 factories in the region. These are Iyego, Mununga, Gatubu, Marimira, Kabiruini, Watuha, Gathima, Kiairathe, Thangathi, Nyakahura and Kirangano (along with Gitura, of course) with a total membership of around 8,000 small scale coffee growers. Gitura factory has nearly 1,150 registered members, making it one of the largest in the Iyengo group. Like many Kenyan coffee factories, only a portion of them actively delivers coffee in any given year. Currently, the mill processes somewhere in the vicinity of 1,500 metric tonnes of coffee cherry annually.