Gates Foundation, Coca-Cola, TechnoServe Partner to Empower Small-Scale Fruit Farmers in East Africa

The Coca-Cola Company and TechnoServe have announced the launch of a four-year, $11.5 million partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help 50,000 small fruit farmers in Uganda and Kenya increase their productivity and double their incomes.

TechnoServe, the implementing partner in the effort, will receive grants of $7.5 million from the Gates Foundation, $3 million from Coca-Cola, and $1 million from Coca-Cola Sabco to teach mango and passion fruit farmers how to improve quality, increase production, organize into farmer groups, and gain access to credit. Ultimately, the partnership aims to create new market opportunities for farmers, whose fruit will be used for Coca-Cola's locally produced and sold fruit juices.

Implemented in close collaboration with the governments of Kenya and Uganda, the partnership will build on TechnoServe's efforts to help banana, cashew, cocoa, and coffee farmers across Africa. The partnership has been designed to be easily replicated so it can serve as a model for Coca-Cola as it grows its juice business in other markets.

"Empowering small farmers to increase productivity, improve crop quality, and access reliable markets is critical to addressing global hunger and poverty," said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Development Program. "Partnerships like this provide farmers with the tools and resources that can help revitalize African agriculture and increase opportunities for small farmers so they build better lives for themselves and their families."