Mubuku Moringa Vanilla Farmers Association

Mubuku Moringa Vanilla Farmers Association (MMVFA) is an organization consisting of 14 vanilla producer cooperatives located in the Rwenzori region in Western Uganda.
Following the crash of world market prices for vanilla in 2001, many farmers operating in the region were not able to make a living through their vanilla sales and wanted to abandon their crops. MMVFA was set up in 2005 by eight cooperatives, joining together to support these farmers. The association was supported by Ndali Estates, a locally based Fairtrade processor and trader, and aimed at helping farmers improve the quality and quantity of their production, strengthen their offer, and find better markets for their produce.

Mubuku Moringa Vanilla Farmers Association


Mubuku Moringa Vanilla Farmers Association (MMVFA)

MMVFA became Fairtrade certified in 2008 and is currently made up of 14 co-operatives, reaching 1,255 individual members. Members of the association are smallholder farmers who own an average of 1.6 hectares of land and grow, along with green and split vanilla, a variety of cash crops like bananas, coffee, beans, maize, and cassava.

The Fairtrade minimum price and premium have helped farmers improve their livelihoods and communities. Villagers decide democratically how to spend the Fairtrade premium and have prioritized education, paying for private school fees where government-funded schools are poor.
The cooperative has also invested in training courses on good agricultural practices for their members, aimed at empowering the farmers with modern agricultural skills and knowledge in optimal land utilization.

Other projects include:

  • Capacity building, including administration and IT training
  • Purchase of a corn mill
  • Construction of a small office/vanilla store

Farmers report that Fairtrade has indirectly led to a greater role for women, who now take part in the leadership of the association, voice their opinions and needs, and attend training workshops on micro-finance and agricultural techniques.