Six Coffee and Cocoa Companies in Uganda Get Matching Grants to Scale up Operations
MARKUP has allocated nearly EUR 3.5m to be provided to selected enterprises through a Matching Grant Scheme. The scheme aims to positively impact on smallholder coffee and cocoa farmers in Uganda, create jobs and ensure that the value chains are managed properly in order to improve access to regional and international markets.
The project is implemented by Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA). UCDA Managing Director, Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, says it will go a long way in creating jobs and improving inter-regional trade.
At the end of 2021, UCDA unveiled six companies that will benefit from the matching grant scheme. The companies are Rubanga Cooperative Union, Ainea and Sons Company Ltd (Cocoa), UGACOF Ltd, New Bukumbi Coffee Processors Limited, Outspan Agric. Ltd (Cocoa) and Uganda Coffee Farmers’ Alliance.
According to David Ndemeire Baingana, the Managing Director of New Bukumbi Coffee, the funding is timely. ‘This grant is very useful for us because it is going to enable us to put our whole system together, implement traceability aspects, get certification for principal farmers, improve the quality of coffee and ultimately raise the price that we receive for the coffee,’ Baingana says. ‘We should be able to implement a fully traceable link between the 2,500 farmers we work with and the export market.’
According to Gordon Katwirenabo, the National Program Coordinator of MARKUP in Uganda, Baingana’s company and the other five beneficiaries emerged successfully out of a total of 35 companies that responded to the call for proposals. The proposals were assessed and evaluated based on set guidelines, before the final six beneficiaries were selected. The grants are intended to improve production and productivity, reduce harvest and post-harvest losses, and increase market access in the coffee and cocoa value chains.
The grants will enable the beneficiaries to scale up operations and add value to their products in order to attain high premium returns on their produce and increase the price incentive through diversification into higher value export markets, especially in the EU and ACP countries.
Photo credits: UCDA