Coffee farmer inspecting his crops in Uganda. Photo © by Jacob Ravn, access2innovation

Small-scale coffee farming

The companies Farm Mountain Coffee and Agro Business Development wanted to look into the possibility of exploiting the market for gourmet coffee in Denmark. The outcome was the Farm Mountain Project which was supported by the Danida B2B program during a pilot phase.

The objective of the pilot phase was to develop a handling and quality assurance system for producing high quality coffee for the European gourmet market. In brief, it turned out very successfully.

Initially, 32 farmers from the Bududa district at Mount Elgon in Eastern Uganda were organised in order to produce a better quality of coffee beans - through training and a close cooperation.

Today, 930 farmers from 4 districts (Bududa, Sironko, Kapchorwa and Bufumbo) at Mount Elgon are involved in the project.

Exports to Denmark has risen from 20 MT (mega tonnes) during the first three years, to 40 MT in 2014.

The partners therefore feel motivated to continue the cooperation and have decided to form a Joint Venture. But whereas the partners during the pilot phase focused on producing and exporting coffee for the Danish market, they will now also be looking at other markets - including regional and domestic markets. They will now also be looking at the market for generic coffee (normal quality) as well as the market for green beans, in order to increase the turnover and the profitability of the company.

In order to meet these objectives, they need to invest in a coffee mill and increase the present storage facilities, especially in order to control the handling of the coffee and the logistics.

The objectives of the project (implementation) phase will be to:

  • upgrade the project by installing a coffee mill and increase storage facilities.
  • develop marketing strategies for other export markets as well as for the domestic and regional markets. Further to include marketing of green beans and generic coffee.
  • further upgrade the quality assurance system and secure a close cooperation with the farmers by continuous support in terms of training and CSR activities.
  • further upgrade the management of the company, especially in terms of management and info systems.
  • fully comply with national standards regarding external as well as the working environment and to improve the environment further whenever possible.

Access2innovation has granted funds to the company Agro Business Development A/S to work with Farm Mountain Coffeee and the small scale coffee farmers on Mt. Elgon in Uganda.

 icon pdf1 Download our 2015 concept note on agribusiness opportunities in East Africa.

For more information, please contact Henrik Anker-Ladefoged, CEO of Agro Business Development A/S.

Rantzausgade 4, 2.sal, DK-9000 Aalborg, // c/o Det Internationale Hus

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