The co-operative marketing system started with primary societies which marketed members’ produce. In Uganda it was mainly cotton and coffee that were then bought and processed by private businessmen for export to feed the factories in European countries. The exporters and processors had

exclusive right to do so and made huge profits at the expense of the producers. It became clear to the native producers that they could earn much more if they processed their own produce to add value as these middlemen were doing, instead of selling raw products. To achieve that objective, it was necessary that they achieve economies of scale which was possible through bulk marketing that would also give them more bargaining power. This therefore pulled members to form cooperatives to ably increase their incomes through collective action (Msemakweli, 2008).

Today cooperatives have been re-organized in a new system of working with their members at all stages of the value chain that is; capacity building to members, providing agro-inputs, value addition , selling farmers output, transportation among others.

Co-operatives now have the chance to carry out real marketing as they are no longer part of the old market system where things used to be done without being notified. Cooperatives must do their market research to identify the markets and their requirements, then organize the members to produce the right quality, quantity and reliably. In modern marketing, there three key things which drive the market: Quality, reliability and competitive price. Cooperatives also have to consider that the interests of their members and that of the organizations are balanced to create a mutual trust and understanding between the two because, if one of them is satisfied while the other is not, the system cannot be sustained. In the past the institutions benefited at the expense of members but this is no longer possible anymore.

CAPCA has therefore inaugurated its members in formation of cooperatives in order to build a strong marketing system which will enable members to fully involve in marketing activities. The same approach will also help to create a direct link between the farmers and potential buyers/markets which offer favorable prices to enable farmers increase their incomes harmoniously.

Compiled by
Tonny Kibirige
Marketing officer-CAPCA