Despite the economic downturn, Zimbabwe is home to Africa’s best coffee, rivaling Kenya and Ethiopia who are currently in pole position, while the resource rich former bread basket was in an unprecedented tailspin which resulted in a sharp decline of her supplies.
Coffee giant Nespresso, through climate smart and sustainable farming, has committed to revive and rekindle Zimbabwe’s Eastern highland’s long history of producing high quality coffee. Tapping into the potential is Nespresso, a subsidiary of dairy beverages. They have pledged to work with small scale farmers and will be purchasing 95 percent of their yields thus stimulating growth in the local economy and the coffee industry in general.
“We will be engaging with at least 400 small-scale farmers who are constituted by the locals, and have the inborn knowhow of the procedures of primary production of coffee. We will blend this with climatic sustainable and environmentally friendly farming while optimizing the rich potential of Chipinge” said Jean Marc Divoisin, CEO of Nespresso.
The multimillion dollar Swiss firm is set to inject US 1,25 million through its parent company Nestle in a move set to bring the forgotten coffee back on the specialty menu were it rightfully belongs. The coffee is expected to be on the full international market shelves including Starbucks and have a 5 year development plan for the project. Despite tobacco, maize and wheat having been given priority by the government previously, they continued to give poor yields.
Manicaland region is situated in the eastern part of Zimbabwe where the country shares the border with Mozambique. Eastern Highlands geography is largely attributed to the quality of the world’s most consumed beverage. Largely mountainous with plush valleys, Manicaland province has the perfect climate, higher altitude of 1800 plus feet and high rainfall of over 1000mm per annum and a relatively cool climate offering optimum conditions for the finest yields.
The Eastern Highlands is also home to several tea plantations on stretch of over 1000 km belt of mountainous area with favourable conditions free of pesticides. There is a relative low pest and disease incidence making significant impact on the quality of tea and its products due to minimum residual effects of pesticides. The tea from this region contains polyphenos , flavonoids, caffeine and some amino acids such as theanine and gallated catechins which are beneficial to tea lovers . It is also plain, with a coppery red colour appearance of the infused leaf and its liquor being strong and brisk taking milk well.
The injection might be a dawn of a new era for the sleeping giant as the new dispensation tries to lure back investors after decades of economic decay under the leadership of Robert Mugabe. All what Zimbabwe needs is capital and technical injection to complement her infinite human and natural resources.