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Ukanda Ledge Limited

Ukanda Ledge Ltd is one of the fastest growing coffee exporters world wide. We serve you with the most delicious and flavorful indigenously grown Arabica coffee in all grades you may desire. We export Bugisu green whole beans sourced from the ranges of Mountain Elgon in Eastern Uganda and within the African coffee belt.

We further trade and export green Bugisu Arabica coffee, Roasted beans and Ground coffee. Contact us to enjoy the best Arabica coffee grown from the most fertile volcanic soils and moderate climate of the Mountain Elgon ranges

Our coffee(Ukanda Coffee) is indigenously produced as a cash crop by the Bamasaaba people who occupy the hillslopes of Mountain Elgon. Our coffee is exported in four grades depending on the customer’s preference- we have Bugisu Arabica Coffee AA, Bugisu Arabica Coffee A (single A), Arabica Coffee B and Arabica Coffee PB. These coffee grades are physically distinguished by the flat surfaces and the green bean.

The Bagisu- have no tradition of an early migration from somewhere. They assert that their ancestors were called Mundu and Sera whom tradition says came out of a hole in Mountain Masaba (Elgon). Their early life seems to have been anti-social, almost based on the principle survival of the fittest. Very little is so far known about their history but they are known to be related to a sub-group of the Luhya of Kenya known as the Bukusu. The Bagisu are believed to have separated from the Bukusu sometime in the 19th century. The tradition claiming that they have always lived where they are throughout history is not fashionable. The earliest immigrants into Bugisu area are believed to have moved into the Mt. Elgon area during the 16th century from the eastern plains. Their earliest home is said to have been in the Uasin Gishu plateau of Kenya. They seem to have been an end product of the mixing of peoples of different origins and cultures, but since their language is Bantu, their predecessors should have been Bantu speakers as well.

The Bagisu had a loose political structure based on clans. Every clan had an elder known as Umwami we sikoka (chief of the clan). These men were chosen on the basis of age and wealth. They were responsible for maintaining law and order, and unity and the continuity of the clan. They were also responsible for keeping and maintaining the cultural values of the clan and for making sacrifices to the ancestral spirits. Often, stronger chiefs would extend their influence to other clans but no chief managed to subdue other clans into one single political entity. Other important figures in Bugisu included the rainmakers and the sorcerers.

One of the unique social customs of the Bagisu is male circumcision. The actual origin of this practice is mysterious even among the Bagisu themselves. One tradition states that it originated from the demand by the Banpa (Kalenjin) when Masaba, the Bagisu hero ancestor, wanted to marry a Kalenjin girl. Another tradition claims that the first person to be circumcised had a complication with his sexual organ and that circumcision started as a surgical operation to save the man`s life. There is yet another story that the first person to be circumcised had it done as a punishment for seducing other people`s wives. Legend states that it was decided to partially castrate him by way of circumcision. When he recovered he resumed his former practices and rumour went around that he had become excellent at *. In order to compete favourably, other men decided to circumcise also.

Before circumcision, an initiate is administered with a certain herb called ityanyi. Its purpose is to arouse interest in circumcision within the candidate. Often the ityanyi is tied round the initiate’s big toe or it is put in such a place where he might jump over it unawares. It is believed that if the candidate who has taken the ityanyi is delayed or hindered from being circumcised, he might end up circumcising himself as his mind is said to be so much stimulated towards circumcision that no other thing can distract him. Circumcision among the Bagisu occurs biannually during leap years. Every male has to perform the ritual upon reaching puberty. Those who abscond are hunted down and forcefully and scornfully circumcised. Before the day of circumcision, the initiates are tuned up by having them walk and dance around the villages for three days. Their heads are sprinkled with cassava flour and painted with malwa-yeast paste. Their relatives dance with them and there is much drumming and singing.

Girls, especially the sisters of the initiates, enthusiastically take part in the processions. It is believed that once a boy is circumcised he becomes a true Mugisu and a mature person. An uncircumcised person is known as a musinde. The circumcision operation on each initiate is pretty fast. The circumciser and his assistant move around performing the ritual as appropriate. The assistant circumciser pulls the foreskin of the penis and the circumciser cuts it off. The circumciser goes further and cuts from the penis another layer which is believed to develop into another top cover for the penis if it is not removed. The circumciser proceeds and cuts off a certain muscle on the lower part of the penis. These three cuttings end the circumcision ritual.

The initiate is made to sit down on a stool and he is then wrapped in a piece of cloth. After that he is taken to his father`s house and made to move around the house before entering it. For three days, the initiate is not allowed to eat with his hands. He is fed. They say that it is because he is not yet fully initiated into manhood. After three days, the circumciser is invited to perform the ritual of washing the initiate`s hands. It is after this ritual that the initiate can eat with his hands. On the same day, the initiate is declared a man. It is then that custom allows him to marry. During the ceremony the initiate is instructed on the duties and demands of manhood. He is informed in addition that agriculture is very important and advised to always behave like a man. It is believed that the healing of the cuts depends on how many goats have been slaughtered during the initiate`s circumcision.

A ritual is performed. All the new initiates in the locality have to attend. This ritual is called Iremba. It is an important occasion which all the village people and, these days, even government officials attend. During ritual proceedings, the initiate could pick any girl and have sexual intercourse with her. The girl was not supposed to refuse. It is believed that if she refused, she would never have children when she got married. This poses problems of Christian females if they are chosen. Previously, circumcision was done in specific enclosures and only the initiates and the circumciser were allowed in. The rest of the congregation would just wait and listen from outside the enclosure. Today, however, all people are allowed to watch the whole process. Firmness and courageous endurance on the part of initiate is appreciated as a sign of bravery.

Bugisu Cooperative Union (BCU), Uganda`s only surviving cooperative Union is an establishment that has existed since 1954. Arabica coffee was introduced in Bugisu in 1912 and it has remained the central economic activity of the Bagisu community. The decision to form a cooperative union was precipitated by European and Asian private traders who benefited from Bugisu coffee more than the native farmers. In the 1920s, European and Asian private traders were the coffee buyers who created what was called `the buying ring` in 1927 whose purpose was `to eliminate wasteful competition aimed at forcing down the Bugisu coffee prices. The predatory nature of this buying ring was such that they bought coffee right from the grassroots at very low prices. This practise agitated the native Bagisu farmers who felt they were getting a raw deal from their coffee. In 1931, prominent Bagisu namely; Samson Kitutu, S.K. Mutenyo, J.N.K Wakholi, X.M.M. Gunigina, Fenekas Masaaba, Wagisi and others formed the Bugisu Coffee Scheme (BCS) to supervise the marketing of their coffee. However, the powers of BCS were hijacked and a Colonial Government Administration backed company called "A. Baumann & Company" took the leading role angering the farmers. In 1933, because of pressure, BCS was given exclusive buying rights. It was however operated by a European Manager hired by a District Commissioner. Although the BCS was for Bagisu, more lucrative positions were taken by Europeans, Asians and Baganda. There was a Board of Directors (BOD) that comprised five members with only two Bagisu representatives. In 1938, BCS was contracted to only carry out coffee collection from farmers but not to sell. This was intended to reduce its controlling powers on the coffee supply chain. A new company, Bugisu Coffee Marketing Company (BCMC), an all-European owned company, was formed in 1940. It took the lucrative role of coffee marketing and earning abnormal profits. The entire Board of BCS was left with a peripheral role of advisory and collecting and delivering of cover to BCMC for selling. Ater bitter complaints by the Bagisu farmers about the structure of BCMC, two Bagisu representatives were appointed between, 1944-49 to serve as a channel to farmers and to agitate for the rights of farmers but the BCMC remained in full control. The Bagisu conviction that they were being grossly cheated by the company became deeply rooted. In 1946, Samson Kitutu with group took advantage of the new Cooperative Law provision to quickly root for the formation of Bugisu Cooperative Union to have own control and eliminate BCMC and foreign control of their coffee. In the same year, the first two primary societies were formed and started operating. By 1949, 24 societies had been formed. The cooperative idea of 1931 came to fruition in 1954 and Bugisu Cooperative Union (BCU) was formed in July 1954. Arabica Coffee became Bugisu coffee offically in its true sense. BCU offered an institutional framework for achieving control over their primary source of livelihood. It became a symbol of Bugisu Unity and an agency of economic nationalism. A comprehensive framework through which Gishu solidarity could be expressed. Upon formation, Samson Kitutu was elected the first president of BCU. He was succeeded by S.K. Mutenyo in 1958. X.M.M Gunigina became the third BCU president in 1962. In 1962, before the British granted Uganda independence, they questioned whether Ugandans had financial capacity to govern themselves. To alley British fears and excuses, Bugisu contributed $328,388.70 and Buganda $547,314.50 to show we could manage ourselves. Ideally, it`s Bugisu and Buganda which guaranteed Ugandan`s independence.

No one can believe that U.S. was the main destination of Ugandan coffee during 1976-1977. Let`s leave the time when they started importing Ugandan coffee and got lead in doing so passed British who were Uganda`s colonial masters. Coffee valued at nearly $158M was bought by the American companies. The coffee imports was rapidly increasing month after the other. By December 1977, coffee exports stood at $220M, as a registered increase of 33% over the same period in the previous year. This constituted to relatively a third of Uganda`s total coffee foreign exchange from the Americans and an additional fifth of the same from Britain. This was everything for Idi Amin. America exports to Uganda, though small, were also expanding in 1976, the total value was $6.3M; in 1977 this figure rose to $14.2M. The big five American coffee companies, were put on pressure under human-rights to stop purchases of Ugandan coffee because of the alleged crimes against his citizens. These companies included Folden Coffee Company (subsidiary of procten and Gambe), General Foods (Maxwell House) Saks International, ACLI Sugar Company and Nestles`. At the end of November 1977 the National Coffee Association, a trade organization representing most of the major coffee companies in the U.S issued a statement reflecting these pressures and urged the U.S. government to implement `a uniform national policy` concern trade with Uganda. However, the president of one of the major coffee company, Maxwell House, met State Department of officials in Washington in Nov. 1977 and urged the government to take the lead. Besides implementing the policy, sources in the coffee trade say the companies were worried about violating the anti-trust legislation if they decide voluntarily to boycott Ugandan coffee: would be accused of engaging in monopolistic practices against Uganda. Also this embargo could also rise the domestic coffee market prices, and this meant Uganda was pivotal to the coffee industry in the U.S. Then he National Coffee Association, which rarely concerns itself with politics leaped to the public to call upon government to take a clear stand on trade with Uganda, although, several coffee companies were threatened with this consumer boycott if they continue to use Ugandan coffee. One of the black American journals, teachers, lawyers, and other people like Carles Russel, Panamanian of West Indian origin who taught African studied at Brooklyn college was convinced like many others that Idi Amin was a victim of a pernicious propaganda campaign. The black caucus in congress didn`t approve the trade ban saying it was excessive and unacceptable unless it`s tied to similar legislation against South Africa.

Our vision

"Build Uganda, Grow Uganda and Support Africa." Strategic Goals:

  1. To be the best processors and exporters of organic Arabica Coffee in Africa
  2. To promote research, product development and technology transfer of agribusiness processes
  3. To control the quality and authenticity through ensuring effective post-harvest handling methods in coffee.
  4. To promote and enhance the relationship between African Americans and indigenous African people through investments in agricultural projects.
  5. To ensure all the coffee cycle is documented and database is developed from seed to exporting the coffee

Ukanda Coffee

  • 1
    Transaction safety guarantee

    We process and secure your payments and transaction to keep you safe.

  • 2
    Shipping & delivery

    We do global shipping through DHL so you dont have to be worried.

  • 3
    Coffee quality

    We produce the best organically grown arabica coffee in all grades from our farms to your cup.

Our Ukanda Team

Ukanda Coffee

The heart of coffee.Name coffee, we've got it, from our farms to your door step.

Ukanda Coffee

Bringing the best from the coffee world to your cup.

Ukanda Coffee

Africa being a hotbed of opportunities and coffee being among the best products in Africa is simply amazing.

Ukanda Coffee

We make you the best coffee to keep our African and Ukanda taste. Place your order today.