Mt Elgon Agroforestry Communities Cooperative Enterprise is a farmer-owned secondary level organization (owned by 11 primary cooperatives with a combined membership of 3,033 farmers) with the mandate to increase farmer household income that produces Organic-Fairtrade certified washed Arabica coffee grown on the slopes of Mt Elgon. MEACCE currently exports its coffee to 5 buyers in Europe, the USA, and Kenya but has plans to expand to Asia.
Smallholder coffee farmers continue to produce coffee traditionally hence realize meager yields of 0.2kg per tree, representing 60% below standards. On the other hand, there is no guarantee for good postharvest handling due to individual coffee washing and drying. Being on the slopes of Mt. Elgon with small plots of land on which they grow coffee intercropped with subsistence food crops, farmers face a lot of soil erosion and degradation, landslides, and limited access to energy for cooking, among others. Several reports indicate that the area is vulnerable to climate change effects due to increased population, development, and deforestation. An investment in adaptation and mitigation will not only contribute to coffee production but also food security.