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Change is brewing in Uganda's coffee sector

Photo Credit: Farm Africa/ Jjumba Martin Photo Credit: Farm Africa/ Jjumba Martin

In Kanungu, western Uganda, coffee is the fuel of the local economy and a recent Farm Africa survey revealed that women are the backbone of the industry. Despite that, female farmers see little reward from the profits they help to generate.

Even though women do the majority of work involved in growing, harvesting and drying coffee, in most cases men control the marketing and sales activities. This distinction means that often men control household incomes and women are excluded from financial decision making. 

In 2019, Farm Africa ran the Coffee is Life UK Aid Match appeal. Our kind supporters gave generously to the appeal and unlocked a total of £242,000 in matched funding from the UK government. These funds are delivering a project in Kanungu that helps women gain an equal footing in the coffee value chain. 

Through the project, 160 village savings and loan associations are being supported to unite women to save together and make investments in each others’ businesses. More than 2,000 women taking part in the project will also receive training in financial management and leadership skills. 

“Farm Africa trained our farmers’ group on how to work together as a cooperative. We learnt about village savings and loan associations and were taught to look at farming as a business, where record-keeping is essential to monitor progress.” Patience – project participant. 

Thanks to the skills and knowledge they’re gaining, the female coffee farmers of Kanungu are unpicking the myths surrounding their roles in the sector. The coffee gender gap is closing, and change is definitely brewing.

Farm Africa’s work in Kanungu is funded by the European Union and UK aid from the UK government, however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the organisations’ official policies.

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