Establish a sustainable market-driven system of coffee farmers who are empowered by entrepreneurship and innovation.
Develop a set of criteria and a business case study of NUCAFE’s Farmer Ownership Model to expand their impact in the agricultural sector.
NUCAFE’s Farmer Ownership Model helps smallholder coffee farmers earn higher prices by providing trainings, a processing facility, and access to better markets through the collective power of cooperatives. To assess the economic, social, and environmental impact of this model, we interviewed 116 NUCAFE farmers, 16 non-member farmers, and key partner organizations in 6 regions of Uganda. We also attended farmer training sessions, toured processing facilities, and visited coffee farms to better understand the coffee value chain.
1. Farmers receive higher prices for their coffee. NUCAFE growers are able to sell coffee at higher prices, resulting in higher incomes. They are able to pay off debts and invest in other areas of their lives (e.g., livestock, children’s education).
2. More farmer trainings would scale social impact. Many growers attribute their improved livelihoods to their trainings and are eager to receive more trainings. However, NUCAFE’s limited resources make it challenging to meet this desire uniformly for the 1.2 million individual coffee farmers.
Efren Oxlaj Tambito
Faculty Research Mentors:
The Farmer Ownership Model for Rural Prosperity. This business case study provides a general profile of NUCAFE, the Ugandan coffee farming industry, and the solution NUCAFE provides for coffee farmers through the Farmer Ownership Model. It provides potential funding partners (i.e., impact investors, microfinance banks) with an understanding of NUCAFE’s impact and how supporting NUCAFE can further social change. Universities can also present the Farmer Ownership Model to students as an example of a successful agricultural social enterprise.
Farmer Ownership Model Criteria. This set of criteria provides a general guideline for any farmer cooperative or association to adopt the model. It focuses specifically on creating environmental, social, and economic impact. NUCAFE desires to share this model with other commodity organizations and regions of the world through developing these criteria.
Investor Profile. This profile provides potential funding partners (i.e., impact investors, microfinance banks) with an understanding of NUCAFE’s impact and how supporting NUCAFE can further social change. NUCAFE desires to scale its model, and thus developing more partnerships is crucial.