Uganda: A Mobile App for Coffee Farmers

coffee-mobileUgandan Coffee Farmers Alliance, UCFA, has been using a smartphone app to monitor and manage coffee delivery. The app created in 2013 by software manufacturer SAP was part of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH program, which they implemented on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The software is streamlined to be used in the coffee sector and has benefited 13,000 UCFA farmers. UCFA is an alliance of about 54,000 small coffee farmers. Ugacof, which is Uganda’s leading coffee exporter, with about 11,000 affiliate members also uses the app. An employee of UCFA records every sack of coffee using a registered smartphone. The farmer then receives by SMS the confirmation of delivery and payment. You can as well use the app for cashless payment.

Carsten Friedland, who is a product developer at SAP explained that “The UCFA has simplified its administration processes, yet at the same time it now analyses the data with much greater accuracy. This offers other benefits for members.” UCFA in the first harvest season was able to cut up to 14% of its administrative cost.

Another benefit the program provides farmers is the access to credit and investments to small farmers. Banks are able to get recorded data from the app as a form of evidence for income. Before the advent of the app, farmers were not able to show enough evidence of needed securities like income and land ownership.

This app has brought about transparency and efficiency in coffee production in Uganda, Africa’s second largest coffee producer. With the positive feedback recorded, SAP is now working to adapt the app for use with other products in Uganda and other countries (GIZ).

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