- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
- THE ROLE OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
- FORMATION OF BUGISU CO OPERATIVE UNION LTD
To produce high quality coffee for socio- economic development of Bugisu and Uganda at large.
BCU was formed to grow, buy, process and market high quality standard Arabica coffee for mutual benefits to both farmers and consumers.
The objects of the union are to promote in accordance with Co- operative principles the economic interests of its members and more particularly: -
- To encourage better farming particularly through improved methods of agriculture and land utilization.
- To engage in the the cooperative processing and marketing of such agriculture produce of members as may from time to time be decided.
- To obtain on behalf of members agricultural and building requirements.
- To make loans against adequate security to members for productive purposes or crop finance.
- To acquire buildings, machinery, and vehicles and to provide accommodation, transport and other services as are necessary for the proper fulfilment of these objects.
- To encourage in members the spirit and practice of thrift, mutual help and self-help.
- To acquire land for farming and ranching purposes.
- Arabica coffee originated from Abyssinia, the present-day Ethiopia and was introduced in Bugisu, by the British Colonial Government in 1912. The first area to accept the growing of coffee was in Bumudu parish in Buwalasi sub – county in Budadiri county.
- Since it was a newly introduced crop, some farmers did not easily accept growing the coffee crop. However, the local chiefs and clan leaders quickly adopted the growing of this Arabica coffee.
- The first coffee nursery bed was established at Masekela in bukiyiti parish in 1915. Bukiyiti was the then seat of the county administration.
- Between 1915 and 1931, the marketing of arabica coffee was handled by private traders, whose knowledge about the drying, grading and storage of coffee was very limited. Hence the coffee produced was of very poor quality and realized a very low price in the world market.
- Consequently, this bad situation led to formation of the Bugisu Coffee scheme by the Bugisu district administration in 1931 in order to enable it buy coffee directly from the farmers in Bugisu and to ensure that high quality coffee standards were achieved through proper processing and storage.
- In the very year (1931), the secretary of state for colonies, called lord pass field, visited Bugisu and examined the coffee that was being grown and fore saw a bright future for the coffee crop, provided its proper processing and marketing methods were observed. accordingly, lord pass field recommended that buggies Arabica coffee Industry should be developed on the lines, which would enable it to be handed over to the cooperative organization owned and operated by the coffee growers themselves.
- On the recommendation of the district commissioner, Mr. Elliot in 1929, the Bugisu coffee scheme sold the coffee to the Bugisu coffee marketing company which then exported it.
- In 1933 the Bugisu coffee Board was established with the ultimate objective of developing the industry for full ownership and operation by the coffee growers themselves. This board went through a transitional period of changes, which resulted in the building up of a healthy financial position for the scheme. While all these changes were taking place, the then protectorate Government was fostering the establishment of Cooperative societies throughout Uganda.
- The cooperative societies ordinance was enacted in 1946 providing for the establishment of the department of the co operative development. Following this enactment; the cooperative societies which had been establishment around the Bugisu coffee scheme’s managing A gent called Bugisu Cofffee Marketing Company were formally recognized.
- By 1951, the coffee industry had undergone many changes and Bugisu coffee farmers had gained more representation on the Bugisu coffee board. As a result of the growing numbers of farmers on the Board, the board decided that when three quarters of the coffee growers became members of a society, that society could take over all the marketing functions in their area from the bugisu coffee marketing company including the Bugisu coffee scheme property. During this time, the coffee growers did not like Bugisu Coffee Marketing Company, which they regarded as middlemen.
Accordingly, this company was forced to re – evaluate its activities with the farmers. After the evaluation the company decided to go into voluntary liquidation.
- In 1952, four separate coffee unions based at the coffee drying centers were formed. These drying centers were at Buyaga and Nampanga in Budadiri county, Busamaga in Bungokho county and bubulo in bubulo county.
- The objectives here were for the growers to take over the functions of the Bugisu coffee board so as to have full control of the coffee industry which they were firmly and steadily establishing as well as to eliminate middle men.
- With all these changes, the quality of Arabica coffee greatly improved leading to its high demand on the world markets and the price it fetched greatly improved. In the same period, the reserve fund of the Bugisu coffee scheme held by the bugisu coffee board in trust for Bugisu coffee rose to the tune of the one million sterling pounds (1000000 pounds)
In 1954, the members of the four local unions felt the need to form one big central union. Consequently, one union was founded and registered as the Bugisu cooperative union limited in July 1954. Shortly afterwards, a new bugisu coffee ordinance was enacted in 1955 providing for BCU Ltd to take over all the marketing functions from the bugisu coffee scheme as well as all the scheme’s assets except the reserve funds, which were still held by the Bugisu coffee board