LONDON, UK – The UK government will match donations to give marginalised women in Kanungu, Uganda the opportunity to make a decent living from coffee farming. International development charity Farm Africa has launched the Coffee is Life appeal to raise funds to help farmers in eastern Africa run profitable businesses. Supporters of the appeal include the NFU, whose President Minette Batters and Vice President Stuart Roberts are both running the London Marathon in April to raise funds for Farm Africa.
Farm Africa is aiming to raise more than £170,000 through the appeal and the UK Government will match all donations from the UK public. Donations will support Farm Africa projects across eastern Africa, and the matched funding unlocked from the UK government will directly fund a Farm Africa project that will give women in Kanungu in western Uganda the opportunity to make a decent living from coffee farming.
Coffee is Uganda’s most valuable crop, yet coffee farmers are struggling to get by as they lack the tools, training and bargaining power needed to grow enough coffee and sell it for a fair price. Women suffer the most as they provide the bulk of the low paid, unskilled labour, while men own the land and make most of the profit. Women typically earn 38% less than men.
The Farm Africa project in Kanungu will help female farmers gain access to the land they need to grow coffee on, set up savings associations so they have access to finance to invest in developing their businesses, and support to take on leadership roles within their local coffee cooperatives. A gift of £11 could train one farmer to produce high-quality coffee.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “The Coffee is Life appeal will empower women across Uganda to build their own farming businesses.
“UK aid and Farm Africa are working together to give these women the training and skills they need to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
“Through UK Aid Match the government will double all public donations to the appeal.”
Minette Batters, President of the NFU said:
“Running for Farm Africa is about running for a reason; I’ve seen some of the truly amazing work that Farm Africa do and it deserves our support. I think Farm Africa is an outstanding charity. It’s not about money, it’s about transforming lives, because you give farmers the tools to build a business. And that’s why it means so much to us because it’s tangible as you can see the difference it makes to people who are leading incomparable lives to our farming existence.”
Donations to the Coffee is Life appeal from individuals based in the UK will be doubled by the Government through UK Aid Match between 8 February and 8 May 2019.