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Certified Organic Coffee Producers Earn Higher Incomes in Uganda

Read the original story on the USAID Mission Uganda website

In the Ankole region of southwestern Uganda, Feed the Future has enabled 6,640 small-scale farmers to fetch a significant premium on the price received for their Robusta coffee in the international market after they became certified Organic and Fair Trade producers last month. Coffee is Uganda’s most important export crop, earning $450 million in 2010-2011 and directly benefitting 1.32 million households.

With the increasing demand for specialty Robusta coffee, Feed the Future trained thirteen groups of farmers from the Ankole Coffee Producer Cooperative Union to improve their knowledge of organic practices needed to grow the crop successfully. Trainees received access to extension services and equipment, including coffee roaster and cupping spoons, and drying technology to improve post-harvest handling.

As a result of the training and certification, the cooperative sold coffee at $400 per ton to the international market, with individual farmers earning thirty-five cents per pound above the market price, and 70 percent of the final value of the exported coffee. The price of organic Robusta coffee from Uganda on the international market stood at $5.64 per pound in September, compared with the average price per pound for Robusta, which was $4.45.

Through assistance to the cooperative, Feed the Future is improving coffee quality, accessing higher value specialty markets, enhancing productivity, and increasing profits for smallholder farmers.

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