Over the past 5 years, we’ve been purchasing coffee from the team at Long Miles Coffee Project and have been excited to see the quality step up year on year. During harvest visits, we’ve also been inspired to see the positive impact that the team have been actively pursuing – and achieving – on the ground in Burundi. Along with being a reliable and transparent partner to the hundreds of farming families delivering to their washing stations, they’ve notably established their Coffee Scouts programme, providing invaluable agricultural support providing very tangible results for farmers through increased quality and productivity.
But Burundi is facing a severe threat with changing environmental conditions. Some projections show that within the next couple of decades, more than 60% of possible coffee land could be unfarmable. Wide spread clearing and intensive farming has exposed the coffee nurturing micro-climates to the increasing effects of climate change and resulted in poor soil health. With coffee making up 59% of export earnings for Burundi, you can see that this could be a terrible situation for one of the world’s poorest countries!
The Kibira Rainforest is a 40,000 hectare high elevation rainforest running along the top of the Congo-Nile ranges which the coffee growing region of Kayanza nestles up against. Long Miles Coffee Project is partnering with the international Arbor Day Foundation to embark upon a reforestation project extending native species of the rainforest through green belts wrapping around and through the coffee producing communities of Kayanza. Simultaneously building soil health and bolstering the microclimates against predicted temperature change, these fingers of green will also provide fuel and crop support.
While the full reforestation is a long ranging vision, the initial stage is to establish a Forest Scouts programme and plant 15,000 seedlings in the coming 12 months. The Forest Scouts program looks at hiring local community members and equipping them with knowledge and skills in agronomy to empower them to establish and maintain the new green belts.
Fundraising is underway! Get involved in an event or donate directly via Chuffed!