Seed multiplication has led COALFKA to opportunity multiplication


COALFKA cooperative in Rwanda was established in 2014 by 454 men and 137 women. The name stands for "Cooperative d’Agriculture de Legumes et de Fruits de Kavunja". Initially, the members cultivated maize on 76 hectares of the Kavunja marshland, situated in the Mugina sector of Kamonyi District. 
The maize was considered a subsistence crop only, that couldn't fulfill the farmers' welfare. However, since 2019, the cooperative has partnered with Agriterra through the SDGP maize project, which aims to enhance the maize value chain. As a result of this partnership, COALFKA has gained access to valuable advisory services that have significantly improved both production and management practices within the cooperative.

Agriterra and COALFKA collaborated to introduce Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) that involved the creation of Farm Field Schools, the use of appropriate fertilisers, optimal crop distances, and post-harvest handling. These practices provided COALFKA members with knowledge and skills necessary for optimising their maize cultivation. As a result, productivity increased from 2.5t/ha to 4.5t/ha.

By adopting best practices in post-harvest management, COALFKA has minimised losses and improved the quality of harvested maize, thereby maximising intake from the farm and bolstering overall profitability. 

However, the cooperative did not rest on its maize cultivation but recognised a new opportunity to multiply maize seeds. This decision has proven to be a game changer, not only financially but also for the empowerment of its members. The initiative is securing a premium price of 700Frw/kg, compared to the standard 430Frw/kg. This significant increase in earnings has been a transformative experience for the farmers, allowing them to improve their living standards and invest in their families' future.

COALFKA's contribution to Mugina's development

COALFKA has made a significant contribution to the area's development by constructing a modern and spacious commercial building in the Mugina business center. The financing of this six-room edifice is a remarkable achievement that was made possible through a combination of member contributions and bank loans. The building also confirms the cooperative's dedication to creating a better business environment in Mugina. Despite the challenges faced during the construction process, the cooperative's prudent financial management has enabled a repayment of 75% of the loan, putting COALFKA  on track to fulfill its financial obligations by June 2025.

From leasing commercial spaces to funding development projects

At present, the cooperative has successfully leased out four of its commercial rooms. This has resulted in a monthly income of over 400,000Frw, which is a remarkable achievement. However, the cooperative is anticipating full occupancy of all the commercial rooms, which is expected to drive up the monthly revenue to 600,000Frw. This is a significant increase that will guarantee the cooperative's financial stability and help it fund more community development projects.

The consistent revenue generated by the commercial rooms highlights the cooperative's ability to effectively manage its resources and meet the needs of its customers. With this level of success, the cooperative is well-positioned to explore other business opportunities that will further enhance the economic prospects of the community.

Moreover, COALFKA's impact extends beyond agriculture and real estate. Empowering its members to diversify their income sources, the cooperative has facilitated the construction of quality housing and the establishment of supplementary businesses. 

Innocent Sindayigaya is one of the cooperative's members who has benefited from his membership. A 35-year-old man took out a loan from a bank, using it to buy a motorcycle that he now uses as a taxi. Thanks to the loan guarantee provided by COALFKA, he is now completing his loan repayments. He expressed his gratitude, saying, "I have great respect for this cooperative. It helped me secure my motorcycle by guaranteeing my loan with the bank. I am about to finish repaying the loan; COALFKA is like family to me."  Innocent was one of five men who benefited from a motorcycle loan facility. 

The members of COALFKA are satisfied with the cooperative's efforts to address their economic needs and improve their overall well-being. Their firm commitment to cooperative principles and collective action is evident in their willingness to continue working together and pursue additional initiatives in the years ahead, all aimed at further uplifting the community. 

Share this article:


Jansbuitensingel 7
6811 AA Arnhem
The Netherlands

+31 (0)26 44 55 445