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Bukonzo farmers

Bukonzo Farmers, café, Uganda

La Unión Cooperativa Bukonzo Organic Farmers inició como un grupo de 6 agricultores de café orgánico que deseaban difundir su mensaje de  conciencia ambiental. Basada en la ciudad de Kasese en el oeste de Uganda, el principal problema que enfrentaban era el retorno financiero de sus cultivos.

Los agricultores no eran capaces de obtener un buen precio para este producto intensivo en mano de obra. El acceso al mercado del comercio justo ha permitido a Bukonzo superar este problema, mientras que el número de socios aumentó de 500 a más de 2,000 agricultores.

Kabugho Jostina, Gerente General, afirmó:

“El préstamo de Shared Interest nos ha permitido duplicar nuestras ventas de café y pagar oportunamente a los socios. Estos mayores ingresos les han permitido educar a sus hijos.”

Cultivando el futuro

La cooperativa ha tenido un impacto enorme en la comunidad, particularmente en la vida de las mujeres dado que ellas se están involucrando más en la producción de café. Considerado un “cultivo masculino”, Bukonzo es una de las pocas cooperativas cafetaleras en África que es manejada por mujeres.

El futuro de Bukonzo luce prometedor. Están implementando un plan para los próximos 3 años que contempla incrementar el número de miembros a 2,400 agricultores, la modernización de su planta trilladora de café, la construcción de 23 pequeñas estaciones de lavado y la implementación de su planta de clasificación de café (proceso que es actualmente tercerizado)

Bukonzo utiliza el préstamo de Shared Interest para dar adelantos a los agricultores. Este año ellos planean implementar su planta de tostado de café para empezar a vender café tostado al mercado local.

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The impact of Covid-19

Bukonzo was one of the first producer groups to supplement government supplies using their Fairtrade Premium. In response to the pandemic, they have donated sugar, maize flour, cooking oil, beans and soap to the local government taskforce.

Tragically, since hearing of Bukonzo’s efforts in helping the local community, we received news that they were facing life-threatening weather conditions due to heavy rainfall, which has caused severe flooding to the Kasese District. 

Josinta told us: “Following heavy rains from the Rwenzori Mountains, five rivers simultaneously burst their banks at around 2am on 7th May. We believe that 1,200 Bukonzo farmers have been affected in Kisinga, Kyondo, Kyarumba, and Maliba. 

“The situation of the displaced in these areas is serious, many homes are concentrated villages which are in the low lands and along the river basins - they are now completely flooded. The Kasese District Disaster Team is reported to have registered over 35,000 displaced families, with some sleeping in the open air. 

“Families reported that the floods were seen at night, which was very threatening to them and most of the properties were swept away. They had nowhere to run, since they could not tell the direction of the water. “The piped water to some communities is blocked and now people do not have access to drinking water so they are made to move long distances to search for clean water. “The farmers lost coffee and also food crop fields, therefore, food packs will be a high need and materials for shelter.”

Following this Bukonzo became the first beneficiary of our charitable arm, Shared Interest Foundation's Livelihood Security Fund

Read more about Bukonzo Farmers in QR 116.

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