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COSSU

Services we Provide

Coop Support Services (U) Ltd (COSSU) is a social enterprise that is providing a wide a range of agricultural market system support services to smallholder farmers in Uganda

Market Sourcing and Linkages

Other issues aside, access to good and sustainable markets remains a major
challenge to Uganda’s smallholder farmers.

Digital profiling of smallholder farmers

The company maintains a digital database of all smallholders that it works with.

Capacity Building

Conventional extension services where in addition to the electronic messages
sent to farmers

Access to affordable finance

Agribusiness is an investment that requires financing just like any other business
undertakings.

How We Work

Company Strategy

The Uganda based company will concentrate on only products with assured markets preferably on the international market where the products can attract premium prices. The company will doesn’t own the products but simply facilitates the farmers to produce and then market on their behalf in exchange for pre-agreed fees that will be needed to run the secretariat.

COSSU

Digital profiling of smallholder farmers

The company maintains a digital database of all smallholders that it works with. The system captures information on: location (district, sub-county, parish, village and where possible GPS coordinates); Telephone contact; basic Agro-production
characteristics (land size, ag-enterprises, seasonal production data). By doing this, the company is able to use electronic based products (text messaging and internet) in providing services to its target farmers. Among the services offered is training, extension services, weather forecasts, pricing and early warning services to farmers. Using the same systems are able to keep in touch with the company activities.

COSSU

Capacity Building

a) Conventional extension services where in addition to the electronic messages sent to farmers throughout the production cycle, the company maintains a network of extension officers that physically visit the farmers on a routine basis. Beyond providing agronomic advice, the visits are also used to verify and validate production estimates for every season to ensure that the company fulfils its contractual obligations with its clients.

b) Training in post-harvest handling and quality assurance; The kind of market that COSSU targets require very high quality assurances. In this regard, COSSU is aware of the risks posed by low/varying quality of the products that it puts out on the market. The company therefore dedicates lots of efforts to ensuring that farmers handle the produce in the most appropriate way possible. In some cases, the company is required to supply products which unique specific phyto-sanitary specifications. The company therefore provides training and facilitation to farmers to meet such demands.

c) Micro-enterprise development: Well aware that small-holder farmers produce and engage in more than just the target enterprises being promoted by COSSU, the company provides capacity to farmers to partake in other economic activities that fall within their means. This is done by providing farmers with training and skilling in micro-enterprise development among the target farming community. Important to note is the fact that unlike the other trainings, training in MED target the broader community within which our target farmers are located.

d) Farmer group formation, management and governance; The COSSU also strongly promotes and advocates for smallholder farmers to work collectively in form of groups or cooperatives. COSSU therefore provides training and mentoring of interested farmers in group/cooperative: formation, management, governance and evidence based policy advocacy.

COSSU

Market sourcing and linkages

Other issues aside, access to good and sustainable markets remains a major
challenge to Uganda’s smallholder farmers. COSSU is therefore filling this gap by
providing both forward and backward linkages in the agricultural market system. The company is deliberately sourcing for existing markets for specific enterprises in Europe, Asia and the US. After securing the market for certain commodities, then it mobilizes farmers to produce for that particular market. However, due to the various production and post-production challenges that most farmers face, the company ensures that it also plays a role in facilitating farmers to produce.

COSSU

Access to affordable finance

Agribusiness is an investment that requires financing just like any other business undertakings. However, our financial market seems not to target the smallholder farmers. This therefore limits the SHFs effective participation in the market system. To this end, COSSU has partnered with various stakeholders to extend financial services to farmers. This includes agricultural insurance (premium subsidized by 50%), input financing (payment is done after sell of produce) and below market rates credit by Uganda Development Bank (UDB), Microfinance Support Centre (MSC), Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF) by Bank of Uganda. The company is also planning to set up its own micro-finance (MFI) company where it will mobilize its farmers to capitalize the MFI to enable it provide cheaper financial services to its target farmers. At a later stage, the company will source for equity investors that will invest into the company.

Contact Info

Free Consultation

We  facilitate the farmers to produce and then market on their behalf in exchange for pre-agreed fees that will be needed to run the secretariat.

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