By Mark Kawalya
JKCC General Supplies, a Ugandan-based coffee trader, has received an investment of EUR 800,000 from the Agri-Business Capital Fund (the ABC Fund). Established in 2017, JKCC sources high-grade coffee beans directly from about 3,700 smallholder farmers spread across 16 districts in Uganda. These smallholder farmers are registered with the Consortium of Central and Western Farmers Association (COCEWEFA), which has an MOU with JKCC. As a result of this agreement, farmers are able to sell their harvested beans to JKCC, which distributes the ground coffee to the local market.
By eliminating frequently exploitative middlemen, this direct sourcing gives farmers more returns and aids in the development of a more sustainable practices that enable them to grow coffee beans with higher-quality yields. JKCC obtained its license in 2020 for the export of coffee and thereafter started processing the beans. The firm has since recorded rising demand from overseas markets, which has helped JKCC report a notable gain in sales volumes.
Currently, JKCC exports over 80% of its produce. The firm also produces roasted and ground coffee on a small scale under the JK Coffee Roasters brand. In the short-to-medium term, it is anticipated that JKCC’s growth trajectory will continue to rise. Currently, JKCC General Supplies is working to get fair trade certification for 1,687 farmers.
The ABC Fund specializes in blended impact financing and offers catalytic funding to underprivileged but profitable segments of agribusiness value chains in developing countries. The ABC Fund makes investments in farmer organizations, rural SMEs, and financial institutions that have the potential for high growth and can contribute to the social and economic advancement of their communities and nations but do not currently have the funding necessary to expand.
The ABC Fund has also made an investment of EUR€2 million into UNACREP, a microfinance institution in Benin, West Africa, that provides loans and microcredits to its members while also collecting deposits and savings from them. UNACREP also trains and builds the capacity of its members.