The Uganda Community Farm — or simply the UCF — is a nonprofit social enterprise situated on 12 acres in Namisita, a village in a remote part of Kamuli, eastern Uganda.
If you are wondering how a small farm ended up with the name Uganda Community Farm, see how the UCF began. And read on below to learn about our business model.
Unlike traditional community farms where all the participating farmers work on the same land, our land is too small to move many farmers from poverty if used that way.
Instead, what we do is: we identify a specific crop of interest, and grow it ourselves on our 12 acres. We then get many other rural poor farmers to grow the same crop on their own land, by providing them with initial inputs, and the needed training. This enables us to work with any number of farmers, than what our 12 acres would have allowed. We then build market linkages for our collective produce, enabling even the poorest smallholder farmers to reach high-value markets they couldn’t access before.
The UCF’s business model is that of a pure nonprofit, in that all the support that we provide to the farmers we work with (be it seed, tarpaulins, training etc.) is entirely free, but a nonprofit with a business approach to putting the poor on a self-sufficient path from extreme poverty, hence our designation as a “nonprofit social enterprise”.
And while it is generally assumed that most “social enterprises” operate by turning a profit from their constituents, the only social enterprise aspect in our work is that the UCF is constantly looking for ways to ultimately make our overall work self-sustaining, but without making our participating farmers pay for anything, or repay us in any way.