Uganda has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in the world, according to the World Bank. More than half of its population is under 25 years old and unemployment rates are increasing rapidly in this age group. The government is stimulating them to start cultivating land as Ugandan soil is so fertile. Unfortunately, very few young people are interested in agriculture. They dream of a life in the city.
A well-known consequence of this is the ageing farming population. This is an all too familiar problem in many coffee regions. It is difficult to motivate young people to cultivate coffee. Coffee cooperatives are trying to put a stop to this evolution by linking coffee to ... football!
Two cooperatives in Uganda supported by the Trade for Development Centre (TDC) combine training course programmes on coffee with football tournaments. Nsangi Coffee Farmers Association started this trend a couple of years ago and Kibinge Coffee Farmers organised their first tournament in 2015 in more than 12 zones of the Masaka district. TDC provided marketing support to the cooperatives and with the budget they had for promotion they were able to organise this tournament, which even included a mini-coffee tasting session.
Above: Some of the football teams posing, clad in their Nsangi Coffee football jerseys © Kibinge
Above: the winning team received a trophy, a leather football and a cow, while the runner-up received a goat © Kibinge