Southwestern Women Bean Growers and Marketing Cooperative Union
Empowering women bean farmers through the establishment of collective marketing
The Southwestern Women Bean Growers Union acts as a co-operative for women sugar bean producers. In this capacity the enterprise sources markets, demands fair prices and provides members with production, post-harvest handling, and business management training. Women help to finance the co-operative through contributing one kilogram of produce per season.
Still in its infancy stages, the enterprise already has over 1,000 active farmers. The enterprise empowers women by helping them to see financial possibility in what have been, until now, small localised farming ventures. The effects of this include increasing the women’s societal status as income-earners, while the cash flow contributes to better food security, health and education opportunities.
Southwestern Women Bean Growers Union forms the core driving force of the enterprise. It currently employs seven full-time and nine part-time staff who work with partner organisations and the local community to build the capacity of the enterprise.
National Agricultural Research Organisation has been involved in all aspects of forming the enterprise. It supplies foundation bean seeds to the cooperative seed producers and provides technical input on seed and grain production.
Bugara Women Bean Seed Producers Association plays the role of a seed company, helps to multiply the sugar bean seed that is sold to the grain producers to boost production.
Kisoro District Local Government helps to mobilise the enterprise and its members bysupporting their activities at a local governmental level.
The 2014 SEED Awards in Ethiopia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda are largely supported by the European Union, which is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies.