Summary

  • Headquarters location: Kasese

  • Region: Rwenzori Mountains, Western Uganda

  • Founded: 2009

  • Producers: 1,975 smallholder farmers (730 women; 1245 men) in 9 primary societies.

  • Post-harvest process: Fully-washed from 36 micro-washing stations; raised drying tables with shade cover.

  • Certifications: Fairtrade, Organic

  • Varieties: SL14, SL28

  • Soil types: Old tectonic soil

  • Harvest time: August to November (main); March to May (fly crop)

  • Elevation: 1200 — 1500

More about Bukonzo Organic Farmers Co-operative Union (BOCU)

Bukonzo Organic Farmers Co-operative Union (BOCU)

General view of the southern peaks from the south-eastThe Rwenzori Mountains, or the ‘Mountains of the Moon’, are an area of myth, immense beauty and glacier-fed streams.

The mountains provide ideal growing conditions for cultivating some of the world’s best coffee, which is what the farmers of Bukonzo Organic Co-operative Union strive to produce.

The farmers, from the Bakonzo tribe, who together form BOCU are now part of a positive coffee co-operative movement of change in Western Uganda – investing in their land and in production, as well as social programmes.

Committed to organic coffee farming

  • Bukonzo Organic Co-operative Union is committed to sustainable coffee production in Western Uganda.
  • Farmers have established shade trees to allow the coffee to ripen gradually, releasing all of its flavour potential. Coffee is inter-planted with food crops; whilst ground cover and terracing prevent soil erosion; and the coffee is given a boost from organic home-made compost.

Investing in quality

Kathendeghere drying Oct 2011

  • The Rwenzori Mountains are inaccessible and investment has been limited for years. In the late 1990s farmers had to leave the land because the area was unsettled. When they returned, coffee prices were at an all time low and the only options were selling their coffee from their shambas or carrying it to the local market.
  • Farmers invested in village-level micro-washing stations with drying and storage facilities and attend training sessions to perfect their preparation of washed Arabica and natural Arabica on their farms.

Women as stakeholders

Kyamakungu-Kamwenze micro-station group

  •  The majority of BOCU’s members are women. It is an unusual situation to have such a high participation of women as stakeholders in coffee production.
  • This represents an opportunity for women to achieve greater equality and influence over household income.

Bukonzo Organic Farmers Cooperative Union, PO Box 278, Kasese, Uganda. Tel: +256 781 526 613 Email: bukonzo_org@yahoo.com

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