Joseph Nkandu is executive director of the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises, known as NUCAFE. As a student at Makerere University’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in Uganda, Joseph stood out as a young leader and took on several student leadership positions. Upon graduating in 1999, he took on the role of National Coordinator for the Uganda Coffee Farmers Association, which had collapsed several years earlier. Going in, Joseph knew that he was going to have to make fundamental shifts from the way that UCFA was originally conceived. He spent his initial years there developing the “farmer ownership model” and, when ready to test, Joseph dissolved UCFA and established NUCAFE in 2003, which he’s subsequently built and grown into a 52-person operation working with 155 associations and over 600,000 farmers across the country. Its mission is to establish a sustainable market-driven system of coffee farmer enterprises/organizations, empowered to increase their household incomes through enhanced entrepreneurship and innovation.
Joseph is an Ashoka fellow and NUCAFE was a recent member of the Miller Center Global Social Benefit Institute Accelerator program.
Tune into the interview with Joseph and click through the corresponding slideshow to the left… (Photos courtesy of NUCAFE.)