National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) was founded in 1995 as the Uganda Coffee Farmers Association (UCFA). In 2003, UCFA changed to NUCAFE in response to members' needs as a result of needs assessment and strategic planning carried out in year 2003.

Coffee farmers profitably own their coffee along the value chain for their sustainable livelihoods.

To develop and establish sustainable market-driven system of coffee farmer associations and groups that are empowered to enhance their household incomes.

Currently, NUCAFE has 125 coffee farmers associations at sub county level spread all over 5 main coffee growing regions of Uganda, with over 100,000 coffee farming families.

NUCAFE mainly operates in 19 districts of Uganda. These include; Rukungiri, Bushenyi, Masaka, Rakai, Mpigi, Wakiso, Jinja, Kayunga, Iganga, Mbale, Sironko, Kapchorwa, Nebbi, Gulu, Bundibugyo, Sironko, Bududa, Manafwa and Arua.

NUCAFE is implementing a farmer driven approach to better position the farmers within the coffee value chain. This is aimed at enhancing quality, and increased market value share. All these activities are implemented using the farmer ownership model.

coffee market value

NUCAFE has accomplished several achievements during the years 2006-2007. Between this two years, NUCAFE membership expanded from 110 to 125 member associations and corporate companies.
More farmers were linked to exporters and this increased their returns. NUCAFE empowered farmers with skills in improving coffee quality, how to add value to the crop through minimal processing and negotiated directly with exporters. The increase in returns was also supported by the favorable world coffee prices.
Coffee prices significantly rose from Uganda shillings 1200 for 2 kg of unprocessed dry coffee cherries (kiboko) in 2006 to as much as 2700 per kilogram of Fair Average Quality (F.A.Q) for Robusta in 2007 and from Uganda shillings 1300 per kg of Arabica parchment to as much as 2600 per kilogram of Arabica parchment in 2007.
Through its market linkage service NUCAFE facilitated an increase in volume sold from 331 metric tonnes of F.A.Q coffee in 2006 to 630 metric tonnes in 2007. This increased farmers' incomes with an overall value added of Uganda shillings 413,360,457 out of the total of Uganda shillings 1,677,220,618 obtained from the sale of 630 metric tons. Consequently as part of this value, farmers from Erusi Coffee Farmers Association initiated what they called the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) in Nebbi district where 42 farmers who were living in grass thatched houses for decades purchased 1005 iron sheets. Furthermore, 5 farmers from Buwama Coffee Farmers Association in Mpigi district bought 5 motor bikes to support them in transportation service.
In 2007, farmers realised that it was their role to contribute towards the sustainability of the services and goods provided by their associations, and the NUCAFE as a whole. Out of the total value per kilogram of Fair Average Quality that was added to the farmers because of the farmer ownership model, farmers paid their facilitating organizational structures over Uganda shillings 20 million.

Farmer of Nucafe

NUCAFE successfully continued to engage itself in partnerships to increase the impact of its highly effective farmer empowerment model, which provides farmers with knowledge, capacity for attitudinal change and skills that they themselves can control their future and build sustainable businesses within the coffee value chain. NUCAFE's partnerships with NAADS supported farmers technically in Kanungu district and raised 2.3 million coffee seedlings on their own in their farmer groups and were all planted in 2007. Organizations that have supported development of this model for the last four years include AGRICORD, Agriterra, Uganda Coffee Development Authority, NAADS, the Coffee Research Centre (COREC) at NARO, USAID and Oxfam International. Expansion of the program has been constrained by limited financial and human resources. Thus, not all coffee farmers in Uganda have been served adequately.

coffee agricultural knowledge

There has been an infiltration by individuals and groups that have taken advantage of farmers' ignorance. Also, some farmer group leaders have denied farmers ownership. To address these challenges, NUCAFE will intensify and popularize the farmer ownership model principles in these three years, and also reinforce the code of conduct values. NUCAFE relies on a limited budget while implementing its programmes, and staff has not been able to cover all coffee growing districts effectively. Thus, not all coffee farmers in Uganda have been adequately served.
Stakeholders should join hands with NUCAFE to empower farmers deepen, consolidate and replicate the farmer ownership model in other coffee growing districts.

  • Strengthen the institutional capacity of NUCAFE
  • Promote membership development and strengthening
  • Advocate and lobby different stakeholders in the coffee industry
  • Provision of services that enhance production and profitability of coffee
  • Ensure growth and coverage of NUCAFE services
  • Organise and document 235 member associations
  • Continuously build both managerial and leadership capacity in all groups and associations
  • Continuously deliver coffee agricultural knowledge to farmers
  • Directly market at least 10,000 metric tones of green coffee to roasters and exporters
  • Certify and verify 10% of NUCAFE member associations under fair trade, Utz certified and organic, and 4C (Common code for the coffee community)
  • To work with 200,000 small holder farming families
  • Market branded NUCAFE coffee
  • Contribute to the domestic consumption of coffee at least by 5 percent
  • NUCAFE to ably sustain itself by 70 percent

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