Coffee production and its contribution to peoples' income: A case study of Sebei Elgon Co-Operative Union (SECU)
Chelangat, Saulo James
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A lot of research on coffee, as a traditional cash crop in Uganda has been undertaken with several objectives including the factors that affect coffee production, their time series analysis of exports, the extent of government involvement, etc. These all have specifically tried to bridge the gaps in the coffee industry and the agricultural sector as a whole identifying constraints, The need to shift to commercial production from subsistence, call for extension services and improved technology; This research particularly but not exclusively took a better look on coffee production, marketing and its effect on the people’s incomes mostly those associated with the Sebei Elgon Co-operative Union in Kapchorwa District, Eastern Uganda. This study investigated and attempted to find out how coffee growing had contributed to the farmers’ incomes and wellbeing. And the following were the research questions: a) Does coffee production improve the socio-economic wellbeing of the farmers? b) Do coffee harvests directly or indirectly contribute to the farmer’s incomes? c) Are there any relevant ideas to improve the performance of the coffee industry so as to potentially improve the farmers’ earnings? The target sample units for the study were selected from among the staff of SECU. These were within the categories of administrators, farmers associated with SECU, and support staff. A random sampling technique (method) was used to include adequate representation of various sub groups. A total number of eighty (80) subjects were involved in the study. The data collected were categorized; frequency counts got and percentages were obtained. And the following results were revealed in summary that: • Coffee growing and selling has a positive contribution to the level of employment in the area. • The leading contributor to the farmers’ incomes is mainly how much each could harvest and sell off for money. • The main challenges to the development of the coffee growing and selling were; low prices, price instabilities, limited access by farmers to extension services, narrow markets and poor climatic conditions among others. Thus this study helped to find out the contribution of the production and marketing of coffee to the people’s welfare in the area in one way or the other, pointing out the marketing strategies adopted, and income flow-ins from the activity. Some indicators were used to know the social-economic contribution of coffee production and marketing to the welfare of the farmers. The report is composed of five (5) chapters; Chapter One consists of the background of coffee production, statement of the problem, the objectives, hypothesis and significance of the study. Chapter Two, covered all the necessary and vital literature review. Chapters Three and Four are the methodology which were employed in the study, detailed empirical results and analysis of findings, while chapter five gave the summary of findings, conclusions and recommendations respectively.