Farmers Resume Selling Coffee to Bugisu Cooperative Union

Bugisu Cooperative Union-BCU has stocked 2000 tons (2 million Kilograms) of Arabica Coffee, which is double the total kilograms of coffee the union bought between 2018 and 2021. Rodgers Wandulo, an official in the BCU marketing department attributed the huge boost to the good leadership by the Nathan Nandala Mafabi-led Board.

He explains that previously farmers shunned supplying the union coffee because of poor management and low coffee prices. “Since the leadership was changed in 2020, we’ve seen positive changes in the cooperative which is motivating farmers to cherish and supply the union with coffee,” he said.  

Currently, BCU buys a kilogram of Arabica coffee at Shillings 11,800 up from Shillings 6,700 previously.  He says that the improved prices have attracted farmers to supply their produce to the union. John Gidudu, a coffee farmer and delegate from Bulusani Grower’s Cooperative Society, says that they decided to supply coffee to the union after serious engagements with the board leadership to explore ways of promoting Arabica coffee to get better prices and timely payments.

“Why we supply BCU is because they have found the need to support coffee farmers compared to previous seasons where they had no urge for the product and delayed payments,” Gidudu said. Wilfred Kissa, a coffee farmer from Sironko district says that the urge for the farmers to sell the product to BCU took a lot of explanations from the new board on how they were ready to resolve the grievances of coffee farmers such as low prices.

He explains that BCU initially rejected coffee after a farmer has put injected a lot of resources and time into the enterprise. “We recognized all the stages of harvesting and drying coffee at our jurisdictions but after, accomplishing it, BCU could reject it” adding that, they are still monitoring the previous norms of a farmer leaving coffee at the union and later told that, his/her product doesn’t meet the purchase standards,” he said.

Another coffee seller, who preferred not to be named, said that currently, they receive half payments in two weeks after supplying the union and the balance after another two weeks. “Since they have a good price we just have to be patient, although they don’t give you money immediately after delivering coffee,” he said.

Established in 1954, Bugisu Cooperative Union (BCU) is the only surviving and functional cooperative comprising dozens of growers’ societies spread in districts across the Bugisu subregion. 

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