This is Benjamin. We met Benjamin along the side of a dirt road in Musema. He was picking coffee cherries from his trees, and our kids were climbing over a fallen tree nearby with some local kids. We had a minute, so I asked Benjamin a little bit about his life. Here’s what he had to say.
Station: Benjamin delivers his coffee cherries to Musema washing station.
Family: Married, with one wife. He has five daughters, who all married coffee farmers. He’s very proud of that.
Trees: Benjamin has 1200 coffee trees. That makes him a very successful farmer by Burundi’s standards.
Last seasons crop: Last year Benjamin produced more than a ton of coffee and got 630 Burundi Francs per kilo ($.50 per kilo). That means Benjamin made about $500.00 last year. He also got a end of season bonus, along with other farmers from the station, from Bean There Coffee for producing such great coffee.
This seasons crop: This year Benjamin is producing less coffee. Most farmers are producing more. He doesn’t know why this is. He thinks his trees will yield about 500-700 kilos of coffee cherry this year. Because the NYC price has dropped, Benjamin will only make 465 Burundi Francs per kilo this year ($.33 kilo). At best, Benjamin will make about $230.00 this year.