This project aims to provide capital equipment to establish a coffee cooperative on Mt Elgon in Uganda. At the moment, farmers are being exploited by unscrupulous middle men and are living a subsistence lifestyle. The project will support farmers with training on growing specialty grade coffee, and will create four coffee cherry processing centres across the mountain, establishing a drying centre and setting up the business side of the operation, including branding and website. 1,620 farm families will benefit from this business, and the aim is to become self-sufficient in as short a time as possible.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT
Our partners have worked in development in this area for over a decade, and are keen to work with farmers to move them past a hand-out model to an empowerment frame of mind. Each farmer is sharing the costs of getting coffee trees ready to produce coffee at the right quality, and all are committed to helping themselves. This project has been well researched, including market research for the end product. Any profits accruing to our partner will go back into their development activities – thus giving them a guaranteed source of income and reducing donor dependence.
The funds will be used to establish four coffee cherry processing centres at strategic locations across the mountain, a drying centre in town and marketing and branding, as well as further training for the farmers involved.
Mbale and Mt Elgon are extremely poor areas of Uganda. Farmers have previously grown coffee and been left with little for their efforts due to unfair business practices and corruption. Many are subsistence farmers, and most suffer from a ‘hungry season’ when food is scarce. Living this sort of lifestyle makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to ever escape poverty. There is no surplus income for health care and no funds for schooling. Intergenerational poverty is the norm.