A dream became reality


Rosemary Twinamatsiko (51 years old) lives in Kashongi, Uganda. She resides with her husband, two sons and two daughters. She is a cattle breeder with 30 Friesian bulls and 60 goats.Next to that, she manages a one-acre coffee plantation. Rosemary has been a female leader for 15 years, facilitating the mobilisation of more women at the cooperative where she works.

Born in Kashari, Mbarara district in western Uganda, Rosemary is the only child of her mother. Her grandfather was a cattle keeper and banana farmer, while her mother worked as a banker. Growing up, she aspired to follow in her mother’s footsteps and simultaneously become a farmer and cattle keeper like her grandfather.

After university, she started looking for jobs, but struggled to find the right opportunities. She recounts: “I stayed with my uncle in Kampala, but wanted to work with farmers. In 2005, I took up volunteering work in a Sacco in Bushenyi and this was my turning point. I wanted to work with cooperatives. Because of my experience from Bushenyi, I knew I could make a difference in the lives of farmers.”

In 2007 Rosemary started working with Kashongi Farmers Sacco. There she found out that women didn’t own land or cows. “In my mind, I thought that this was just a myth. I used my first salary to buy a goat and since I didn’t have land, I gave it to my mother. I continued buying goats and grazed them at my mother’s farm. But I knew I would, one day, buy my own land.”

Female leadership
Rosemary was selected by Uganda Cooperative Alliance and Canadian Cooperative Association to attend a women’s mentorship programme in Canada in 2012. There she gained skills and knowledge in women’s entrepreneurship.

“From this experience, I wanted to involve women in business. This was to be done through mobilisation and sensitisation of fellow women in Kiruhura who thought that women couldn’t own land or cows. I initiated a programme for women in the Sacco, where they could access loans without collateral to enable them to do business and in the long run buy land.” After mobilisation, Kashongi Sacco developed a special product for women and youth: Women & Youth loan products. With these, collateral wasn’t required to access financial services.

Agriterra worked with Kashongi Sacco since 2020 and trained Rosemary on Female Leadership. In 2021 Kashongi Sacco started mobilising women by forming women’s councils at the branch level. Each group was composed of 5 members. In a period of 2 months in 2023, the Sacco registered 147 new groups. In total 753 individual accounts with an accumulated loan portfolio of Uganda Shillings 305M. The primary goal was to bridge the cultural gap of women not owning land. Rosemary is proud of this result: “For me it was a dream that became reality.”

Benefiting the community
A noticeable change in the community is observed, where more women are becoming members of the Sacco under Women Council programmes. Women are gaining exposure, taking leadership positions, and providing for their families’ basic needs. Rosemary is very happy about this. “Women no longer depend on men.”

She plans to hold a women’s conference this year to bring more women on board and to build capacity for women.


Kashongi Farmers Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited (KAFCOP) was formed in 2006 by mainly farmers from Kashongi Subcounty and surrounding rural areas of Nyabushozi County. It was registered in May 2007. Their mission is: “To provide high quality financial products and services that meet members’ needs sustainably”.
The Sacco is user owned, user financed, and a user governed financial institution.

Agriterra worked with KAFCOP since 2020, and members participated in joint trainings such as basic financial management, governance, and internal capitalisation trainings. Agriterra focused on training the Youth and Women Councils formed in the previous projects and had the councils integrate into the policy framework of the Sacco.

The total members of the Sacco are 16561 (11924 male and 4637 female).

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