Why We Do What We Do
With the goal of helping reduce poverty by promoting sustainable cocoa production and improving farmer livelihoods we have set up the following:
Farmer training programs. Esco Uganda provide specially trained and qualified agronomists to supervise and train cocoa growers through Organic, UTZ, FFL and Fairtrade (FLO) certification programs.
Training in entrepreneurship and encouragement to diversify income-generating activities.
Helping to organise farmers into cooperatives and associations.
The creation of autonomous community projects in the area.
A savings and loans facility for Esco Uganda farmers.
Here are some of our farmers' stories...
Matayo Muhyana Mumbere
Matayo Muhyana Mumbere, an organic cocoa farmer in Bundibugyo says, "before I joined the Esco training program I did not know about soil erosion control and often ended up with poor cocoa yields. Through the Esco program I now control the erosion on my farm and achieve good yields."
He has since managed to build a permanent house and can afford to send his oldest daughter to school.
Matayo has also initiated a brick making project through the extra funds from his cocoa farming, and is now able to employ others to help run his two businesses.
Timondo joined Esco in 2004 growing organic cocoa.
With a smile he says, "through my transparency and good relationship with the company I have managed to achieve so many things. Esco trained me to farm organically, and through the Esco Uganda loans system I am able to borrow small amounts and pay it back with my cocoa."
Timondo has also managed to educate his four children who are now teachers, a nurse and an agricultural officer.
John Ivan Nkono
In 2010, Esco Uganda opened a store in Mayuge and started buying cocoa at premium prices, training cocoa farmers on good agricultural practices and post-harvest handling techniques while establishing cocoa nurseries and distributing to farmers.
John was amongst the farmers who benefited all through from this and was inspired to gap fill and extend his cocoa plantation due to the market stability he found in Esco.
He said, "Esco has changed my life for good; today am a model cocoa farmer and have hosted many government leaders including ministers and local leaders. I thank Esco for guiding me in this journey. I have been able to educate my children, bought land and shared it among them, built a permanent house, built a modern raised cocoa drying platform, built a fermentation house and a poultry house, bought a motorcycle and my first car which I am currently using to give lifts to my fellow farmers and even assist them in cases of emergencies where there`s no vehicle in the village."
The Bundibugyo Community Library (BCL) was built by Esco Uganda to support the community in Bundibugyo with educational material and other services. Esco Uganda continues to provide financial support for the day to day running of BCL.
We feel socially accountable to the community and therefore made this donation with special recognition of the cocoa farmers’ efforts, trust and commitment to working with the company for many years; the Library has gone a long way to support the children of farmers in their educational endeavors. It is the first of its kind in Bundibugyo and in the surrounding districts.
Esco Uganda conducts training alongside our certification program and have trained thousands of farmers to date on topics from good agricultural practice and environmental responsibility to social issues and financial management. Training plays a significant role in our goal of uplifting and empowering farmers and communities.
Our farming modules include:
Preparing land and the environment.
Establishing a nursery.
Planting crops and shade management.
Post-harvest handling techniques.
Pests and diseases.
Pruning, weeding and regeneration techniques.
Soil and fertility management.