The Edge Trading Ltd is one of the fast-growing local companies, registered with Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and licensed by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) as a coffee trading company, trading both in the local and export markets. The company has established itself into aggregating and exporting dried Arabica and Robusta coffee. It aggregates green coffee from both farmers and primary processors, further processes, grades, and bags green coffee into bags of 60 kilograms for both local and export markets. The Edge generates its revenues mostly from coffee commodity trading in the export market. From 2017-2019, the Edge export has increased to250 containers (3,150MT) of coffee per year making revenue of UGX 22 billion. This sales performance has maintained EDGE within the profitable zones for the last three years making an average of UGX 360,734,318 in profits per year from trading in coffee. There is an unmet demand for coffee on the export market which is one of the reasons why the Edge came into partnership with IAM to increase production and productivity of farmers through the accessibility of agricultural services to farmers digitally.
The proposed project is therefore built around an innovative and inclusive business model wherein Edge in partnership with Quest Digital will mobilize, profile and digitally integrate additional 3,000 out-grower smallholders, Agricultural Service Providers (ASPs) including financial services institutions FSIs, input dealers, extension workers, and farm equipment hire & lease companies) on a B2B and B2C digital platform. At the center of the model are associated smallholder farmers who will benefit from improved access to production inputs and other services such as financial services, extension services, farm equipment, and tractor hire services to increase their production and productivity of coffee. Also, farmers will benefit from a ready market that will be provided by The Edge which is the main off-taker for their coffee produced offering good prices to farmers. With a target that each of the 3,000 smallholders will produce target commodity – coffee on an acre and improved productivity of 20% per tree and per acre, the expanded out-grower scheme will mean Edge will have the capacity to aggregate an additional 877 MT of fair average quality (FAQ) to fulfill and attract more contracts and can export at least 4,027 MT and earning Shs 24billion in revenue.