Profile: Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU)
Product focus: Coffee
Location: Moshi, Tanzania

Type: Smallholder – 64,000 farmers
Fairtrade certified since: 1993
Contact: Athanasio Masenha –

Price volatility makes it hard for coffee farmers to predict their income for the coming season. Like Rukuriri, KNCU identified potential projects to diversify the income of their farmers. After discussions with the farmers, the organisation decided to invest in a tourism project. Situated on the slopes of the Kilimanjaro, Moshi attracts, every year, thousands of tourists who might also be interested in learning more about the world of coffee.

Project Kahawa Shamba, meaning Coffee Farm, was set up in 2004. In total, 67 farmers were trained in how to manage a campsite, set up tours, and host tourists from around the world. To oversee the project, the organization decided to hire a Tourism Manager.

Today, a fully equipped campsite has room for 20 tourists. Apart from enjoying the beauty of the surroundings, tourists can book different tours for which they have to pay extra. During the coffee tour, they can learn more about the coffee process — from berry to bean — and how coffee farming impacts the lives of local villagers. Visitors can also hike to waterfalls, or visit local tribes.

The farmers are in charge of guided tours, tent camps, and cooking for their guests. The Tourism Manager oversees the project, and helps with marketing and promotion. Flyers and a website are created, and KNCU collaborates with local tourism operators in Moshi, selling the tours to visitors.

Kahawa Shamba was initially funded by the British Government’s Department for International Development (through its Business Linkages Challenge Fund), by Twin Trading, Tribes Travel, Cafedirect and the Fairtrade Premium Fund.

A summary of the income and expenditure of the project can be found here.


Over the past seven years, the project has attracted over 6,000 tourists from 39 countries, mostly from Europe and the US. On average, tourists stay two to five days, making the most of the different excursions offered. Revenue from tourism during the same period gradually increased from 1,875,000 TZS (over 1,100 USD) in 2004 to 227,038,100 TZS (over 40,000 USD) in 2010. The extra revenue has stabilized the income of KNCU farmers. The project even generated funds for community development, paying for new facilities in the area — including the construction of a school.