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Women In Coffee

FOCUS: Female empowerment


  • Kanungu, in western Uganda, is a major coffee growing area. The high altitude and tropical climate provide the perfect conditions for coffee production. Despite coffee’s profit-making potential, many of Kanungu’s coffee farmers live in poverty.


  • Women provide the bulk of low-paid labour in Uganda’s coffee sector, yet it is men who market the coffee, run the cooperatives and have control over the majority of the profits.


  • Farm Africa is providing women from 2,640 households in Kanungu with the support they need to access the coffee market, participate in coffee cooperatives, take on leadership roles, and make changes to decision-making dynamics within households, so they can have more say over the profits generated from their agriculture efforts. They are addressing the economic, agricultural and cultural barriers stopping these groups from forging rewarding careers in the coffee sector.


Twenty-three year old Hildah Turyamusiima, a coffee farmer from Kanungu in western Uganda, has begun to reap the rewards of her hard work thanks to Farm Africa’s work tackling gender bias within the Kanungu district’s coffee industry.

A new survey on women economic empowerment in agriculture (WEEIA) launched by the charity showed that women have more control over coffee production within the district. Of the 348 female coffee farmers interviewed, 89% claimed to actively input into decision making on agricultural production compared to only 22% in 2019.

This is a needed change within the industry as a recent report by Farm Africa confirmed that although women are the backbone of the area’s coffee industry, which fuels the local economy, it tends to be men who have control over the profits.

Hildah is a TOT (Trainer of Trainees). She is also treasurer of her cooperative, called the Banyakinkizi coffee producers and processors cooperative.

Coffee farming requires access to land, which is rare for women and young people in Kanungu. Farm Africa has helped overcome this barrier by running workshops and developing a manual promoting voluntary land use agreements where older generations and men voluntarily give women and young people access to land on which to produce coffee. Hildah has established a voluntary land use agreement with her husband (Francis Byamukama), which has given her about one acre of land planted with coffee to manage independently.

The project works with coffee cooperatives, coffee farmers and local bodies to provide women with greater autonomy at the household, farm and cooperative level.

Helping women save and invest in their businesses provides them with access to financial resources through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), a group where women are able to save together and share financial resources, and by linking female coffee producers to financial institutions.

Alongside providing women with resources to take control and grow their coffee businesses, the project is also focused on changing attitudes and unpicking myths surrounding women’s value and contributions to the industry through the Gender Action Learning System Approach (GALS). This approach brings women and male decision-makers together to explore the economic and social benefits of women’s empowerment, spotlighting the benefits households stand to gain by providing women with access to, and control over, the proceeds from economic activities.

Watch Hildah’s story on YouTube here


  • “My goal is to buy a car and build a family house with my husband with the savings from our coffee sales.”
  • “Natively, coffee has been predominantly a man’s crop. Our plan is to sell our coffee directly to exporters for better prices.”
  • “Traditionally the coffee was for a man and for us women we were not benefitting anything from that coffee.”
  • “Farm Africa trained men to give us land agreements so that as women we could also benefit from the coffee produces.”
  • “Farm Africa has trained us on GALS, where there is a vision journey and a soul mate vision.”
  • “Now, I am saving in a VSLA box to buy bricks. I will use money from my goats to buy cement and I will use the money from the coffee.”
  • “COVID-19 has affected my vision: the price for coffee was reduced because there was no transport. It also affected our VSLA boxes because we were not saving.”
  • “We thank Farm Africa so much for it came: we had nothing and now, we are seeing an improvement.”

All quotations are from Hildah Turyamusiima, a coffee farmer taking part in the project [pictured above].

Farm Africa’s work in Kanungu is funded by UK aid from the UK government and the European Union.


Please find a selection of Farm Africa images, linked below. This includes images from the coffee project, which you have permission to use. Kindly remember to credit the correct photographer, which is displayed in the notes of each photograph.

Please click here


Please see our brand guidelines, linked below, which provide you with up to date logos, brand specifications and general advice on Farm Africa language and tone of voice:


Farm Africa is a leading international development charity that reduces poverty by unleashing the ability of farmers across eastern Africa to grow more, sell more and sell for more. We apply practical approaches to development, providing inputs, tools and expertise to enable farmers to double or triple their yields.

Farm Africa helps farmers to become more resilient to the effects of climate change and to access markets so they can increase their income and build sustainable businesses. We work closely with communities, the private sector and governments to make sure we’re finding the most effective ways to sustain natural resources, increase food production and help end Africa’s need for aid.

Typically, Farm Africa’s staff are from the local area, can speak the local language, and have a deep understanding of the local context. With 35 years’ experience working on the ground in rural Africa, we have a unique ability to spark change.

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