Coffee Farmers Association
Bushenyi District Kyangyenyi S/County
||0° 30' 59" S
30° 19' 59" E
It is one of the three associations located in Bushenyi district: Kagango
. The district is home to the Banyonkore ethnic group, who are divided into the Bairu (peasant Banyankore), Banyaruru and Batagwenda (immigrants from the Buganda Kingdom) and the Bahororo. The region is famous for intensive cattle rearing, which is currently undergoing a transition from the local multipurpose breed (low milk yielding, good quality beef) to the high milk yielding average beef varieties, from the nomadic pastoralist and free range farming to paddock and zero grazing farming system.
Bushenyi district is blessed with rich soils and the farmers have helped their rejuvenation using organic manure in form of mulch, use of digested cow-dung and urine, after getting biogas from the system. The district receives a lot of rainfall compared to any other region of the country, but, because of its proximity to the Great Western Rift Valley, the high temperatures in the dry season are among the hottest in the country. Farmers have been therefore trained in water harvesting technologies to reduce soil erosions and landslides during the rain season while using organic manures and shade tree to extend the crop life throughout the dry spells.
The NUCAFE gender program made its difference in a district where coffee has long been categorized as being the man's crop and banana the woman's crop. The normal situation was that in periods of abundant production of coffee, some men would take on another wife and the existing wives, in order to avoid that risk, would destroy the coffee harvest. After the completion of the trial phase of the gender programme, men and women are working not only together in the gardens, but also during the marketing.
Coffee farmers have done a lot of lobbying and advocacy for their member groups and farmers, thanks to the trainings that they've got from NUCAFE and its collaborations. Now at least 50% of the groups in our district under NUCAFE have a hand pulper for wet processing coffee and community based nurseries support from UCDA and NAADS alike.
CFA is located 10 Km from Kabwohe trading centre, off Mbarara-Ishaka highway. The association is located on a very huge hill commonly termed as Kyangyenyi Mountain. The soils in this place are highly rocky and shallow, making cultivation really difficult. Cattle rearing is also hard since the animals cannot move easily on the steep slopes of the hill. There is a high runoff speed and many cases of deep erosion. However, the farmers in this area are motivated enough to react to these difficulties.
After the nasty experience of several NGOs that had robbed them of their money in the pretext of offering them loans later, the association decided to create its own Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) and personally contributed. Their village bank is now the only one offering banking services to all the schools around and offering loans to various individuals. Coffee farmers are offered loans at a far lower rate compared to other individuals. Checks are made to insure that those pretending to be coffee farmers are really what they say.
The soil erosion control programme was started by the sub-county agricultural officer, but, being the sub-county vast and wide, it was really hard for her to implement it. Therefore, she linked up with the association and the group leaders and now the programme is moving on smoothly; the officer even adopted this format and extended it to Kyabugimbi, who later also became member of NUCAFE. The key issue in the programme is creating grass banks and use of terracing to control the water speed, and so is the use zero tillage farming system.