Regional Contact

Stefan Cognigni
Regional Manager East-Africa


This country is the birth place of robusta coffee. Uganda is also the youngest country in the world, with a median age of 15, and has the second highest number of coffee farmers in Africa. Approximately 1.5 million smallholder families rely on coffee production as their main source of household income. With an average household size of 7, almost 10 million people depend on coffee production for their livelihood.

However, due to low production, lack of processing and commercial services and farmer education as well as limited access to financing and value addition practices, farmers are only earning a fraction of their potential income. Very low yields, poor market access and persistent indebtedness to middlemen prevent them from becoming more competitive. Cultural traits, in particular gender inequality, further contribute to a lack in household planning and inefficient use of resources.


I have benefited a lot from coffee as I have managed to educate my children, improved my house, started several income generating activities like poultry, cow and goats rearing. I am very grateful to HRNS.” Maxensia Kalibbala, a coffee farmer from Uganda


We started our activities in Uganda in 2004, with an initial reach of 15,000 households in 2 districts. Over the last decade, our involvement has substantially grown both in terms of outreach and substance. Today, the livelihoods of over 50,000 families in 9 districts are enhanced through support and training on professional and commercial coffee farming.

Project activities develop an empowering environment for farmers. Our aim is that coffee farmers achieve significantly higher returns on their coffee production. As a first step, we use farmer field schools and demo plots to familiarize the farmers with best agricultural practices. We follow this up with the development of professional farmer organizations, and, finally, access to services and gender training complement our approach. Adaptation to climate change and youth education are also being piloted in some locations.

A number of different partners, private and public, have supported the projects over the years both financially and in kind. Among these are: the European Union, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the AgriBusiness Initiative Trust (mainly DANIDA funded), International Coffee Partners, USAID funded programs, FAO, the Jacobs Foundation and the Douwe Egberts Foundation. In-kind support was also received from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.

To date, 7 projects have been implemented, all of them falling under the umbrella of the “Building Coffee Farmer Alliances in Uganda” initiative.

Looking into the future, new interventions are being designed to further consolidate and strengthen achievements and to further mainstream essential topics such as gender, youth and adaptation to climate change. 


Approach Element

Cool Parent Meetings: an element of the Youth Development Project

Why parents’ trust is vital for youth to kick start their careers in agriculture.

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Benckiser Stiftung Zukunft Project

  • 30,000 coffee farmers will be reached by the end of 2021
  • Smallholder coffee farmers are trained in good agricultural practices
  • Objectives: Significant increase of yields and thus income
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Youth Development Project

Employment perspectives in rural areas, entrepreneurial spirit in agriculture, and a secure future for rural youth – this is what our Youth Development Project aims to deliver!

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Building Coffee Farmers Alliances

Building Coffee Farmer Alliances in Uganda develops an environment in which smallholders can significantly develop their agricultural potential and enhance their competitiveness.

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Improving gender relations in coffee farming households in Uganda

Both men and women coffee growers in Uganda work together to improve their livelihoods through coffee support interventions and improved cooperation within the household.


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