Mainly made up of small producers, Kibinge was founded in 1995 by coffee farmers in the Masaka region (south of Uganda). They seek to provide technical services in agricultural production, gender integration, poverty eradication, value addition and market access to complement the Uganda governmental programmes. By providing services directly linked to coffee production and sales to its members (processing, certification, transport, marketing, etc.), Kibinge has remained true to its mission of improving farmers’ and community lives through non-business activities such as training, electric power supply, toilets creation, etc. Fairtrade certified in 2011, Kibinge now has more than 1,600 members, who also cultivate maize and bananas. In 2014, the cooperative was even awarded the title of Fairtrade Small Producer of the Year for Africa!
ENHANCING THE ORGANISATIONAL POTENTIAL
However, although Kibinge is a healthy organisation with real potential, sales are not optimised. Therefore the goal is to improve the production and marketing strategies to realise sustainable markets. Concretely, it is about building up volume capacities and increasing coffee quality to sell more. This should in return enhance Kibinge’s coffee production and create new market access.
The TDC supported broadening the cooperative membership and producing a higher quality coffee for better market access. To fulfil the first objective, the TDC supported leadership training as well as the promotion of inclusive agricultural practices. Concerning production and quality, agro-inputs, a coffee nursery and a coffee demonstration garden were used. Quality and management training was also provided.
From the 24th December 2014 to the 23rd December 2017 TDC-Enabel contribution: €97,121
- membership broadening: inclusion of women and young people in coffee production; increase from 1453 to 1706 members, of which 911 are young people or women; a survey was carried out to improve producer/PO relations
- Coffee production increase: the tree productivity has increased from 4 kg to 5.6kg/tree; the number of trees per hactare has increaszer from 620 to 900; the total production has increased from 2,000,000 kg to 3,089,966 kg.
- Higher quality coffee making: installation of a mini quality control laboratory; Kibinge has reached 93% of exportable coffee grade screen 18/screen 15/screen 12.
To facilitate better access to the market, customised marketing coaching was also scheduled. This consisted of enhancing Kibinge’s organisational capacities in marketing, communication and sales through strategic and operational marketing programmes (including internet and market intelligence training) delivered by a specialised consultant.
From June 2014 to January 2016, 4 modules – with a marketing budget of €49,475.54
Marketing coaching outcomes
Better market access:
- new website;
- development of a yearly sales plan;
- new packaging for the local fairtrade coffee in Masaka and Kampala
- introduction of a new roasted and ground coffee on the local market in 2017;
- stronger local sales (through the consumption of roasted coffee);
- new international buyers : increase from 1 non-regular buyer to 3 including 2 regulars;
- maintenance of the fairtrade certification.
A REAL CAPACITY BUILDING
- production growth: +51,86%
- Turnover growth: +63,42%
- Evolution of customer portfolio: 0%
- Participation at 3 fairs
- Producer’s income growth : +35,06%
“TDC support is highly regarded (concrete impact: an increase in the number of members, new skills with marketing coaching).” DRIS Consult, (in charge of the TDC evaluation of 2017)
As shown above, the quality of the coffee was improved, new buyers reached out, the cooperative turnover rose, and the farmers’ income increased. And more importantly, thanks to the TDC support, Kibinge can now help other POs and fulfil its mission, that is to say: complementing Ugandan social programmes to improve farmers’ lives.