This story originally appeared on the Women of the ELCA Blog.
Atandi Wilkister is a small-scale farmer who lives in the Rachuonyo South District in Western Kenya.
Life has been challenging for Atandi, especially because she was left alone to run her farm and raise her children many years ago. For a long time, she struggled to make a living from her land and finally decided to grow coffee to try to make things better.
Coffee is a cash crop in this region. It has the potential to earn farmers good income if they can produce high quality coffee that meets international buying standards. The problem was that Atandi and other farmers in her cooperative (called APOKO) weren’t producing sufficient amounts of good quality coffee. They also lacked good markets in which to sell their coffee.
That all changed thanks to bold women like you, who support bold women farmers like Atandi with training, equipment and support to improve their agricultural livelihoods.
With training, Atandi and nearly 6,000 other farmers have learned important agricultural methods, such as pruning their trees so that the coffee cherries don’t spoil on the tree. They’ve also learned about weeding and fertilizer use.
Through her cooperative Atandi is able to visit demonstration farms, where successful farmers share their methods so other farmers can replicate them at home. The cooperative also received important equipment to process coffee and preserve its quality.
Now Atandi is producing more coffee than ever before! Her income has more than doubled – from $34 a month to $94. In addition to coffee, Atandi also grows corn and millet. With the training she’s learned, she is able to provide for her family like never before.
“With my income, I have been able to feed and educate my children, build a house and buy livestock,” she says. Meet Atandi and see her coffee farm.
Want to support even more bold women coffee farmers? Buy LWR Farmers Market Coffee! Farmers Market Coffee ensures hard-working farmers get a fair price for their products, while building up their communities and using economically sustainable practices. Plus, a portion of every purchase supports LWR’s work with small-scale farmers around the world.
If you want to start a Farmers Market coffee ministry, now is the perfect time! Learn more»