The project takes place in the Rwenzori region, a few kilometres from the western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The area has been deforested for decades and plantations of exotic species harmful for natural ecosystems such as eucalyptus or pine trees have been promoted in the last 30 years.
The Rwenzori project aims to assist small-scale farmers of the Rwenzori region to develop agroforestry systems, to secure, improve and diversify their production. In collaboration with the farmers, we aim to implement intercropped agroforestry which will provide shade as well as new sources of income (fruits, timber, vegetables).
To increase the Rwenzori’s farmers’ coffee quality and yields, we have developed training and support on good coffee maintenance practices. Our willingness to implement more integrated projects as well as to increase the impact on the coffee farmers’ livelihoods, convinced us to launch Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for coffee in partnership with the local cooperative. The GAPs are designed and based on the local social, cultural and environmental context.
Participating farmers are members of the Rwenzori Farmers Cooperative Union (RFCU), which gathers 14 primary cooperatives from the districts of Kasese, Kabarole, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo in the Rwenzori region.
The project takes place in the Rwenzori region, a few kilometres from the western border with the Congo Democratic Republic. The area has been massively deforested for decades and plantations of exotic species harmful for natural ecosystems have been promoted in the last 30 years. With the rising challenges surrounding climate change, farmers are now affected by excessive temperatures, land erosion and degradation, longer dry periods with fewer water amounts.
All participatory farmers are members of Rwenzori Farmers Cooperative Union (RFCU); the project currently involves six of the fourteen primary cooperatives represented by RFCU. Farmers cultivate in average 2 acres of mixed crops, mostly used for their own food and subsistence (apart from vanilla, cocoa and coffee). While vanilla can bring decent revenues when well cultivated and in significant amounts, most farmers are under-producing with not so well-managed vanilla, and are also subjects to theft, all the more impacting negatively their production.
The project aims at improving growing conditions for coffee -and as a consequence, for cocoa and vanilla – by providing shade, humidity and improving soil quality. On the other hand, it enables to generate additional and diversified sources of incomes and livelihood resources over the medium and long term (fruits, fodder, fuelwood, timber, medicinal products, etc.).
Today, the project is developed in partnership with the Louis Dreyfus Foundation and the Louis Dreyfus Company, Nespresso and Ben&Jerry’s. Together, we support small-scale coffee producers, train farmers on good agricultural practices.
LocationRwenzori region, Uganda
Agroforestry and reforestation
Local partnerRwenzori Farmers Cooperative Union (RFCU)
Participants1771 small-scale farmers
Achievements601446 planted trees
supply chainCoffee , Fruits and Vegetables