By Gabrielle Rosenau, August 2019

On the occasion of Mr. David Neumann’s (NKG’s Group CEO) visit to Uganda, which has coincided with the sixth cycle of fertiliser disbursement, Ibero organized a “NKG BLOOM DAY”. This event took place on 19th of August 2019, in the Nabumbugu farmers’ cooperative, where Ibero had launched the NKG BLOOM operation in March 2017. In doing so, Ibero brought together all partners with a keen interest in promoting value chain development in Uganda to witness the implementation of NKG BLOOM Uganda operations as well as give them an opportunity to interact with coffee farmers that have benefitted from the services of the Ibero Farmer Service Unit. Working together with the right partners made financing coffee smallholders possible.

Not even 3 years after the beginning of the NKG BLOOM Uganda, the services offered to smallholders evolved. We don’t only distribute high-quality fertilizer on advance, we are developing a whole environment to support coffee farmers and their farmer groups: from mobile money advances for farmers to further invest in their farms or to pay for school fees to incentivizing farmers’ groups to bulk more and better quality green coffee. We are even about to pilot long-term finance to allow farmers to invest in their coffee garden in a sustainable manner. From a Farmer Financing Unit, we are evolving into a Farmer Service Unit. We are not a project. We are here for over 20 years, and we will keep growing, and blooming together with the farmers.

But it’s not just that: against all odds, we have over 99% repayment! To us, this is the best evidence that what we do makes sense to the farmer: the farmers we work with are entrepreneurs: they understand the advantages and benefits of what we offer, and because of it, they want to continue, and every season, we have more farmers applying to the scheme. And every season, we receive more coffee.

Within this 6th distribution of fertilizer, we distributed over 600 tons of fertilizer to almost 5000 farmers in 70 different farmers groups located in 10 districts.