In 2016-17 we provided our partners with funds for equipment to establish a coffee cooperative amongst the very poor and remote villages on the foothills of Mt Elgon, in eastern Uganda. Building on the success of four seasons of coffee planting, production and export, we want to help our partners expand their infrastructure and further grow their capacity in this exciting project that is transforming the lives of 1000+ farmers and their families (over 6,000 people!). Our partners pay top-up bonuses during the “hungry season” in Uganda, which has led to incredible community support for the project. This project includes construction of a new processing centre at Sipi Falls, development of a coffee “lab” for testing coffee, construction of a greenhouse in Mbale, the purchase of two off-road motorcycles to reach remote areas and upgrading of existing facilities.
What we like about it:
Our partners have worked in community development in this area for over a decade and are empowering farmers to move them past a hand-out model to an empowerment frame of mind. The benefit to the local community is huge with farmers receiving a good wage for their coffee beans, The coffee project has great momentum, doubling its coffee production in the past year. Sales of world-class coffee around the world (UK, USA, Australia, South Korea) and within Uganda are growing. Empowerment of local people is priceless!
Since the brutal leadership of Idi Amin in the 1970s, Uganda has suffered the devastating effects of civil war, HIV/AIDS and rebel conflict, claiming the lives of the parents of more than two million children. The Mbale region is poor. Farmers have previously grown coffee and have 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. Intergenerational poverty is the norm.