Pamitu microstation was constructed by its members in 2015. Since then it has grown to
a membership of 237 smallholder producers; 138 men and 99 women. Each producer
member grows coffee on less than one acre of land, working mainly with family members
to grow and harvest coffee. Collectively Pamitu cultivates Arabica coffee on a total
53,739 trees, which consist mostly of the variety SL14. This particular lot of Natural
SL14 consists of cherries supplied and processed by the women members of Pamitu.
Since 33% of the profit goes directly back to the women who grew it, the women of
Pamitu benefit from the sale of each kg of this coffee.
The microstation is one of seven in the area that operates in partnership with Zombo
Coffee Partners, who have been working in collaboration with smallholder farmers in
Uganda since 2018. The microstation is an African farmer-owned model for producing
consistently high quality coffee. Its salient features areh
Small scale. Specialty coffee production at the level of the village group of between
50 and 250 farmers.
- Self-help. The members organise and contribute the resources to build the
microstation framework (drying shed and tables, quality table, coffee store)
- Equal farmer contribution. Each farmer makes a roughly equal contribution to the
microstation, in the form of one or more of the followingg land, labour, construction
skills, construction materials, (timber, bricks, stones, sand) and cash.
- Self-management. Members appoint a manager and operate the microstation
themselves with voluntary or paid labour, most often a combination of both.
- Low space requirement. A microstation has a small footprint anyway, and the coffee
is dried on tables arranged in vertical tiers, radically reducing the need for large
- Low labour requirement. Coffee is dried under a roof, reducing the labour needed to
protect it from hot sun and rain. This also improves quality by extending the drying
period and giving greater control over the drying speed, using tarpaulins for
protection from driving rain, afternoon sun and wind.
- Increased farmer profitability. Microstations produce taste profiles which are sold at
premium prices that give farmers a better income for the coffee their smallholding
produces. Cherry is bought from the farmers at above local market prices.
- Equitable loans. The company provides the microstation management with an
interest-free investment loan in the form of production equipment and materials, as
well as interest-free crop and operational pre-finance.
- Financial empowerment. Microstations have the option to invest in the ZCP
company on behalf of their members (target is 25% farmer-ownership by 2028).
- Reward for quality. 33% of all cup score premiums received for each microlot sold
goes back directly to the individual farmer and microstation cash in hand and
according to their relative volume contribution as additional income to the cherry
price payment. Data allows us to keep accurate records of cherry delivered and
bought from each farmer at each microstation. This allows us to track backwards at
the time of cup score premium payments received, directly back to each farmer of
- Quality improvement. At-no-cost technical contributions are made by the company
in the form of construction planning, design, production training, financial
management and marketing.Smallholder members of the microstations practice
sustainable agriculture, and centrally-process through the coffee microstations
which are owned and operated by the farmers who grow the coffee. Each
microstation prepares coffee using the fully-washed, honey and natural methods.