Improving Uganda’s Extension Services

A focus on capacity building at district level in Uganda has resulted in improved and transferable expertise of local coffee farmers and the improvement of the country’s coffee extension services.

The GCP Member Initiative TICS (Toward Integrated Coffee Extension Services) is a 3-year programme (2018-2020) jointly funded by Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) and IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). The project is implemented by Café Africa Uganda (CAU) in collaboration with the National Coffee Platform Steering Committee (NSC), and the District Coffee Platform Steering Committees (DSCs).

The goal of TICS is to integrate coffee-specific extensions into the unified national Agricultural Extension Service at the national and district level. TICS builds on two previous programmes: the first developed harmonized coffee extension material, and the second delivered practical training in the use of the harmonized coffee extension materials to 270 district agronomists and 270 private Coffee Community Based Facilitators (CCBFs). In this third phase, trained district agronomists are expected to provide backstopping and quality assurance support to the trained CCBFs, who in turn pass on their coffee expertise to fellow (lead) farmers in their villages. By using CCBFs as a last-mile delivery system for coffee extension, the outreach of the government extension system could be multiplied 20-fold.

With the help from TICS, 180 CCBFs in six districts have established exemplary coffee demonstration plots on their farms that serve as community farmer training centers for demonstrating Good Agricultural Practices to other coffee farmers. The work of the CCBFs go hand in hand with district agricultural officers.

Over time and beyond TICS, the coffee-specific extension system should become self-sustaining. CCBFs should be able to charge a fee to farmers for their services or get a commission from input suppliers and traders for linking them to farmers. The CCBFs support from the district agricultural officers would be paid from the district budgets.

Although TICS has only reached a limited area of Uganda’s coffee growing districts and limited number of smallholder farmers, the programme has shown that there are smart ways to physically deliver coffee specific extension deep in the rural areas at a very reasonable cost. It is now up to the district governments and private sector stakeholders to pick up the lessons of TICS and scale the model across the country to reach the other 1.5 million+ under-served coffee farmers in Uganda.

If you are interested in utilizing the results from this GCP Member Initiative or would like to express interest in working with other stakeholders to scale this model either throughout Uganda or another country, please contact Samson Emong at Café Africa Uganda.


GCP Collective Action Initiatives

GCP Collective Action Initiatives pools resources, knowledge, and networks to address an identified sustainability issue in a particular coffee producing country. These initiatives surpass a supply chain approach by being open to various stakeholders for participation with results being publicly shared to benefit and improve the whole sector.

Café Africa Uganda

Café Africa Uganda (CAU) is a registered Ugandan not-for-profit organization. Its mission is to catalyze the sustainable growth of the Ugandan coffee sector to create value for all coffee value chain actors, and especially for small-holder farmers. It does so by capacity building of the coffee extension system, facilitating information sharing, and promoting the Uganda coffee sector world-wide. CAU provides the Secretariat for the Uganda Coffee Platform, under the auspices of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.