This is true for most crops, but especially for perennial tree crops which require regular and careful maintenance. This project to train the next generation of Uganda’s coffee farmers in 6 regions is a collaboration between Café Africa, IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, the Coffee Platform National Steering Committee, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, the National Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute, and the Uganda Coffee Platform District Steering Committees.
It aims to build coffee extension capacity at the district level in order to increase productivity in the long-term. This is because, according to Project Manager at Café Africa, Andrew Magombe, “if you look at the Uganda coffee industry, it is characterized by the elder farmers owning most of the coffee plantations. If you look at 10, 20, 30 years from now, there is like a generation gap in coffee”. Which explains why this project focuses on bringing in and investing in the next generation of coffee farmers.
Café Africa has seen a snowball effect where the youth become very active in supporting other farmers to establish their coffee farms – whether it is pruning the tress or helping the management and administration of the farms. Other farmers are even starting to contract the youth for specific tasks and projects. Mr. Magombe is confident that “if this is taken up and upscaled, it can also contribute to addressing unemployment”. He believes that with the money they will have earned, they will continue to invest in the coffee sector and eventually they will take off as owners and drivers of the Ugandan coffee sector