Coffee has always been looked at as a man’s crop and has had limited engagement with the women. Despite the fact that women do a lot of work, they have benefited less from the crop and more work still needs to be done to empower the women farmers along the coffee value chain. Mariam Nandudu had been one of them for many years until she joined Bufumbo Organics Farmers Association.
As a widow at 31 years, she has been struggling with her five children to give them basic needs especially education.
She quotes; “I only had an acre of land when my husband died, but I now have two acres of land which I have been able to purchase from the sales we made through NUCAFE to Bufumbo Organic as an association,” said Mariam. The two acres of land is where she grows coffee and on other acre she grows crops like bananas, sweet potatoes and vegetables which she sells to get money as the coffee matures. The idea of diversification was taught through the different training from NUCAFE on good agricultural practices and how a farmer can further go up the value chain.
With the sales Bufumbo Organic Farmers Association has made to Cafe River, Mariam bulked 730kgs of parchment last season through the association and managed to get some good income of 6,200,000 Uganda shillings. With that income, Mariam secured school fees for her children for the next two terms of school and bought her own pulping machine to further improve her quality of coffee she supplies to Caffe River but also pulp for her fellow farmers and get more income.