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Cultivating potential on Lake Kivu

From the August 2013 issue.

One of Africa’s most troubled nations, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has the potential to follow its neighbour Rwanda as a future star of the specialty coffee scene.

Lake KivuCoffee from the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has the potential to be good. In fact, if history is any guide, it can be great.

“There used to so much money in [coffee from the region] that they were transporting it out of here using airplanes back in the 1950s,” says Dr Timothy Schilling, who is working with World Coffee Research (WCR) to try to revitalise the industry in DRC.

The son of one of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffett, and a prolific philanthropist with a strong agricultural background, Howard Buffett saw the potential for the revitalisation of the DRC’s coffee industry on a recent visit to the region. The result is the Kahawa Bora Ya Kivu, or Kivu Specialty Coffee Project.

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