Part of Latimojong Mountain which is well-known for its Toraja coffee, Kurra Coffee in West Sulawesi province has similar quality and taste to coffee in the neighboring areas. However, low prices in the past made local farmers left their coffee abandoned in the farms or switched to other commodities.
Later increase in price and demand for coffee has enhanced farmers’ willingness to maintain and replant their coffee farms. Yet, lack of Access to Technology (A2T) and Access to Market (A2M) make farmers have to directly sell their green beans to local traders without added value. On the other hand, the fast growth of coffee shops and cafe’ leads to increasing demand for roasted coffee and ground coffee which is a big business opportunity for the local community to improve their livelihoods.
Ritma Green’s engagement to Kurra coffee development began in 2018 as it was hired by the Village Innovation Program to assist the village government to develop a business based on local potential. Working as a Business Development Service (BDS) provider, Ritma Green then proposed coffee agribusiness as a priority business to develop. Fortunately, at the same time, the founder of Ritma Green, Aqdar Maskur, was granted a fellowship from Eco-Peace Leadership Center (EPLC) where he received seed-fund amounting $2,000 to initiate a project entitled Promotion of Smallholder Coffee Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change taking place in Kurra Village. On the project, he trained the coffee farmers Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) and introduced some climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies and practices on coffee like climate-tolerant seedlings, Rurak (hole to restore nutrients, and shade trees. In the following year, Ritma Green together with local NGO, Institute for Society Research and Development (IPPM) implemented another project entitled Community-Based Sustainable Kurra Coffee Practices for Climate Change Adaptation and Livelihoods Improvement. Funded by New Zealand Embassy (HF) in Indonesia, this project builds the capacity of local coffee farmers and grants coffee machinery to local Village-Owned Enterprise (Bumdes).
The village government is later allocated village funds to develop the coffee agribusiness. Developing new specialty coffee called Kurra coffee, the local community has now been producing green beans, ground coffee, and roasted coffee whose market reaches some provinces. A local youth-preneur has also run a coffee nursery supplying coffee in West Sulawesi province. The local community also has expanded to coffee shop businesses to showcase and add value to their products. Ritma Green has assisted the local community to develop a business based on their village’s potential whose multiplier effects later have generated employment and improved livelihoods of the village community.