KARINGA AA - KENYA
Variety: SL - 28, SL - 34
Cup: Grapes, Pomegranate, Sugarcane
Karinga factory was established in 1983 and rests on a 5 acres piece of land serving Kimaruri, Kariungu, Gachuha and Mugalwa Villages.
Currently it is affiliated to Gitwe Farmers’ Co-operative Society Ltd .Its membership currently stands at 650 of which 500 are active farmers while 150 are inactive farmers. The most unique aspect of this factory is that it’s located within tea growing zones.
Karinga Coffee Factory is located in Central Province, Thika District in Ndarugu location of Gatundu division near Gatundu town at Kiambu county.
SOILS AND CLIMATE
The factory lies about 1840m, accuracy of 10m, Location (00 56.876S, 036 49 727E). The soil is red volcanic. The area experiences high bimodal rainfall of about 1500mm p.a. with temperatures ranging between 13-24 degrees Celsius. The long rains fall between March-May while the short rains come between October and December.
The area experiences a biennial production cycle with the early harvest being from April-June and the late second season being from October-December.
The main varieties of coffee grown are SL28, SL34 and Ruiru 11, with SL28 and SL34 accounting to 99% of all coffee produced while Ruiru 11 accounts to 1 % of all production.
After harvesting all the coffee is delivered to the factory and undergoes the wet processing method. Water is pumped from River Rwabura to the reservoir tanks for pulping and recirculation.
After pulping the coffee is stored overnight, washed, soaked and spread on the drying tables. The parchment is then frequently turned on the drying tables, sorted and stored awaiting delivery to the millers.
To ensure that the processing is carried out efficiently the factory has invested in a pulper, a recirculation system and about 12 conditioning bins.
In line with the rising awareness on the need to conserve the environment the factory has initiated a couple of projects among these are the waste water soak pits, of which the factory has only 5. Here the water is allowed to soak in back to the soil.
Currently, the factory does not engage in waste water treatment. In line with the rising awareness on the need to conserve the environment, the factory has dug the waste water soak pits away from the water source where the waste water is allowed to soak in back to the soil.
The affiliate members of the factory carry out all agronomic activities associated with coffee production for example; they source coffee from the Coffee Research Station and plant it according to the stipulated guidelines.
Fieldwork carried out involves weeding, pruning, spraying, and application of fertilizer, mulching and technical advice. Technical advice is offered through farmer training programs and field visits/days offered by ministry of agriculture.
Karinga Coffee factory is run by Samwel Muteti the factory manager with 6 permanent member of staff and Casuals. The number of Casual staff varies from year to year depending on crop harvest. During the peak season the factory employs about 6 casuals while on off peak at most 1 Casual is retained.
The permanent staff duties include weighing coffee, selection and grading of coffee, paying farmers and addressing farmers’ complaints.