Why source chili peppers from far away in Northern Uganda if chili can easily be grown closer to home? That’s the question MACE Foods, a Kenyan exporter of dried spices and vegetables, has been looking at for some years now.
In 2017, MACE Foods wanted to cooperate with chili farmers just across the Ugandan border in Kwapa. Farmers were very interested, since this deal would increase their income considerably, and started growing chilis. Unfortunately, MACE Foods was hit by a bad economic climate and fraudsters, leaving farmers on their own with their chilis. Farmers looked for innovative solutions to get back on track after this huge setback and decided to start processing the chilis to chili powder by themselves and sell them locally.
In 2019, MACE Foods recovered, and they were looking to reengage the Kwapa chili farmers. Together with Rikolto, MACE Foods and Kwapa farmers set around the table to make a new contract. At last, an agreement between MACE Foods and the farmers was reached. This new contract attracted a number of producers to join the Kwapa Farmers’ Cooperative, and at this moment, while Covid-19 is affecting many value chains, the chili farmers remain resilient.