Kassanda CAPCA farmers’ association is found in Kassanda sub-county, Mubende district. The association comprises of 8 groups and 214 peasant farmers, of which 107 are women.
The farmers of Kassanda farmers’ association were in the month of March 2013 provided with capacity buildings in advocacy as a community empowerment tool to enable them sustain their livelihoods.
During the process of monitoring association members regarding the implementation of association activities, the monitoring committee found out an outbreak of the coffee twig borer which was drastically affecting coffee yields and production. Using the advocacy knowledge acquired, the Association Executive and Advocacy committees wrote letters calling upon the local government officials at the sub county and district levels to come to their rescue before they could lose out on their source of income which at the same time contributes over 25% to the country’s GDP.
In response, the association farmers held a lobby meeting with local government officials in which the duty bearers pledged to support the farmers to overcome the pest outbreak by devising all the possible means in place. The farmers’ voice influences the office bearers to respond in eliminating the coffee twig borer disease. In September, 2013 the District NAADS officer and Uganda Coffee Development Authority partnered and launched a spraying exercise of the pest at no cost to the most affected villages of Namabale, Kyambogo, Namaswanta and Kyanika, where the farmers operate from.
The farmers have benefited from their efforts in the following; 10 youths from 4 groups in the villages named above were trained in safe handling and use of chemicals, 15 liters of a pesticide called coffee door were given out for spraying the villages, 10 knapsack sprayers and 10 pairs of gumboots were provided.
The above effort has resulted in the control of the pest in the communities of Kassanda sub-county and farmers are anticipating to get good harvests this season of November, 2013 to March 2014.