Trade for Development Centre is a programme of Enabel, the Belgian development agency.

CECOFA: Robusta from Uganda

The CECOFA cooperative started in 2004 under the name of Nsangi Coffee Farmers Association, or Nsangi. This dynamic cooperative from Central Uganda currently has 3,200 members, 750 women among them.

The quality of their robusta coffee is excellent because the shores of Lake Victoria receive a lot of rain. In addition, the fact that it is located very near the capital of Kampala is an added value because it means transport costs are low. The cooperative is one of the few producers’ groups in Uganda to have a coffee bean peeling machine. It was awarded its fair trade certification in 2014. In 2016, it changed its name because its field of  action was not limited to Nsangi anymore.

Solid cooperative

The farmers’ cooperative has worked many years to become a solid cooperative. Huge efforts were made to bring together members, to motivate and train them. Field workers regularly visit the farms, for instance to find the best drying sites. Farmers who deliver quality beans are paid a good price and during the general assembly good practices are
showcased and rewarded. Ties between the members and the management are good.

Also, everyone was willing to invest in the purchase of a coffee bean peeling machine (with BTC paying the final 30%). When beans are peeled, the farmers are given 45% of the organic waste, which they can use as fertiliser. In addition, CECOFA also invested in other social and economic community projects, such as wells and pig and poultry farming.

But CECOFA does not escape a persistent issue that affects many coffee-growing regions: the rising age of farmers. The Cooperative tries to encourage youngsters to choose for the coffee business. It actually does so by linking coffee with… football! Coffee training course programmes are combined with football tournaments. These efforts bear fruit and youngsters gradually start to invest in coffee trees again thanks to this sports approach.


Robusta coffee from Uganda

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