Ituri, Orientale, DR Congo

When Henry Morton Stanley discovered Dr. David Livingstone deep in the jungles of the Congo, he little knew that this and subsequent explorations included the Ituri rainforest in the Orientale district of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). The Ituri region is home to a multitude of rare flora and fauna, including the national animal of the Congo, the okapi.

It is also home to diverse ethnic groups; long term conflicts between them ravaged the province, which is only now beginning to recover. Coffee is helping. Most growers in Ituri cultivate 150-300 trees/2 hectares on average. Historically, many sold their crops over the Ugandan border for pittance, but starting in 2014, a non-government organization, ACIAR, is helping to improve coffee quality, production, and awareness, and give farmers access to the coffee value chain, changing their circumstances--and their country--for the better.

When Henry Morton Stanley discovered Dr. David Livingstone deep in the jungles of the Congo, he little knew that this and subsequent explorations included the Ituri rainforest in the Orientale district of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). The Ituri region is home to a multitude of rare flora and fauna, including the national animal of the Congo, the okapi.

It is also home to diverse ethnic groups; long term conflicts between them ravaged the province, which is only now beginning to recover. Coffee is helping. Most growers in Ituri cultivate 150-300 trees/2 hectares on average. Historically, many sold their crops over the Ugandan border for pittance, but starting in 2014, a non-government organization, ACIAR, is helping to improve coffee quality, production, and awareness, and give farmers access to the coffee value chain, changing their circumstances--and their country--for the better.

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