Bukonzo farmers

Bukonzo Farmers, coffee, Uganda (producer)

Bukonzo Organic Farmers Co-operative Union started out as a group of six organic coffee farmers who were keen to spread their message of environmental awareness. Based in Kasese town in western Uganda, their main problem was the financial return on their crop.

With this production being labour intensive, the farmers were not getting the best price. By tapping into the Fairtrade market, Bukonzo has been able to overcome this problem, while also increasing their membership from 500 to almost 2,000.

Kabugho Jostina, General Manager, said:

“The loan from Shared Interest has allowed us to double our coffee sales and pay the farmers on time. With the increased income from coffee sales, the farmers have been able to educate their children.”

Farming for the future

The co-operative has made a huge impact on the community, particularly on the lives of women, as they are now getting more involved with coffee production. Traditionally a ‘man’s crop’, Bukonzo is one of the few coffee co-operatives in Africa which is managed by women.

The future looks bright for Bukonzo as they action a three-year plan to increase their membership to 2,400, build 23 new micro washing stations, upgrade their coffee hulling plant, and also install their own coffee grading plant (which they currently outsource).

Bukonzo is using a Shared Interest loan to provide pre-finance to farmers. This year they plan to start installation of a coffee roasting plant so they can start selling roasted coffee to the local market.

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