Despite being the largest coffee exporter in Africa, many of Uganda’s coffee farmers – particularly smallholders – cannot reach a living income from their coffee farming operations. A new GCP Collective Action Initiative seeks to address this challenge by mobilizing young, entrepreneurial private coffee service providers working on rehabilitation and rejuvenation.
The bulk of Ugandan coffee is produced at around 1.7 million smallholder family farms. Of those, two-thirds are traditional farmers who operate under a low-input-low-output system characterised by farms with a large stock of old, overgrown and poorly managed coffee trees. As a result, coffee yields of traditional farmers are at a quarter to one-third of optimum yields, with low cherry quality. Applying a few basic Good Agricultural Practices on renovation and rehabilitation would double the yield of these trees, which would contribute towards a living income for traditional coffee farmers in Uganda.
The GCP Collective Action Initiative: “Ugandan Youth for Coffee: Developing Prosperity through Rehabilitation & Rejuvenation” will bring together GCP Membership and partners to collectively and pre-competitively take action on this pressing sustainability issue. The initiative will develop a rehabilitation and rejuvenation (R&R) tool kit based on a tested step-wise coffee agronomy enhancement model, and roll it out to 30,000 farmers through 150 youth private coffee service providers educated on R&R.
The expected impact on the initial 1.5 million treated trees is a 70-100% increase of yield per tree in two years after the treatment. Through this, the initiative expects to contribute to closing the living income gap of traditional coffee farmers, and to generally improve livelihoods in Uganda’s coffee-producing communities by creating employment opportunities for young men and women in rural areas.
A key aspect of GCP Collective Action Initiatives is that they are connected to the National Coffee Platform’s priorities, local initiatives and bring companies and other stakeholders together in a pre-competitive environment. This was highlighted during the recent introductory webinar by Nadia Hoarau-Mwaura, the Sustainability Director of JDE Peet’s, and GCP Member.
“What was really important is that whatever we are doing, it is aligned with the government policies and the UCDA roadmap.” Nadia said, “The Uganda coffee roadmap has a clear strategy to quadruple coffee exports to 20 million bags, and it’s really exciting to see that such initiatives are going to make this happen.”
This initiative is welcoming new funding partners. Start the conversation by getting in touch with our team.
Did you miss the introductory meeting? Watch the recording here.