Coffee is big business in Uganda, contributing between 20 - 30% of the foreign exchange earnings. Although large scale coffee producers are gradually emerging, the coffee sub-sector is almost entirely dependent on about 500,000 smallholder farmers, 90 percent of whose average farm
size ranges from less than 0.5 to 2.5 hectares.
Uganda produces two types of coffee: Robusta and Arabica in the proportions of 80% and 20%, respectively. South Western Uganda is one of the regions where coffee growing is dominant.
In 2011, Hima Cement started the Hima Coffee Development Project to support local coffee producing communities in Kasese and Kamwenge towards poverty alleviation and economic growth while ensuring sustainable access to renewable energy for Hima Plant.
- Hima Cement offers financing for seedlings which are purchased at a cost of 300 ugx/seedling.
- The Project distributed 16.7 million coffee seedlings from year 2011 to 2016.
- Over 60,000 farmers have benefitted from the project so far.
- Income to the farmers expected to be at €27M by year 2020 from the project.
- 30kt of biomass [husks] is to be received by year 2020 which is approximately 20% of Hima Cement energy requirement.
- Hima Plant is sustaining its biomass substitution at 56% thus reducing carbon footprint.
- Coffee processing facilities have opened in the districts resulting in more jobs in the region.
Three local Farmers Associations are involved in the implementation of the project - Bukonzo Joint Cooperative, Micro Finance Society Limited (BJC), Kamwenge District Farmers Organization (KADIFO), Kasese District Farmers Association (KADIFA) - through mobilization of farmers, growing of nursery beds and distribution of seedlings.
The Uganda Coffee Development Authority provided certified quality coffee seeds for the project, while local governemtn provided farming extension services and training to farmers.