Founder

Africa Coffee Bureau Saleh Nagendo
A coffee worker, Saleh founded Africa Coffee Bureau (ACB) on January 09, 2017 in Silver Spring city, United States.

Early life

Raised on a smallholder coffee farm in central Uganda under the watch of his grandmother and at 4 he saw her pick coffee, something he fell in love with and fortunately enjoyed as a career. At that age, he would stealthily maneuver his grandmother’s shamba and strip a big part of her coffees and he would be whipped. Hardly days, he would return, “so I remember an unforgettable sunset evening when I was returning and she saw me again! this time, I escaped into a nearby ditch. She alarmed and got help from passersby who would get me out and hand me over. It was bloody night. Now getting dark, and we got in the house and I recall the hell of slashes”. Years later in his mid-primary, he would now contribute to the family labor. He would be rewarded 30 pounds of dry cherry with proceeds catering for his stipend “pocket money” in the boarding school he went.

Intellectual Awareness and Coffee Influence

A resident of Silver Spring city, United States, Saleh went to Makerere University in Uganda and Centre for International Research on Agricultural Development (Cirad), France. Undertook to profile sucrose synthase activity and associated iso-zymatic characterization to design biomarkers for predicting superior bean and cup quality trait in Robusta species in Uganda (Postgraduate work) at Makerere. He grew progressively, at the National Coffee Research Institute, under National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) in Uganda. Contributed to search for resistance sources against vascular wilt in Robusta coffee. Predicted Q/3/4 and J/1/1 genotypes as prospective resistant variants to coffee wilt disease using peroxidase biomarkers. Q/3/4 and J/1/1 were among variants advanced for commercialization in Uganda.

Promoting African Robusta in the United States

Robusta coffee is mainly traded in EU markets but for a long time it’s been earning African farmers just US$0∙4/lb. Farmers are disenfranchised, desperate and some are abandoning the value chain, yet coffee is the most viable and competitively guaranteed livelihood for the peasantry in the sub-Saharan region. This threatens the production volumes and value chain sustainability. The United States coffee market is a boom, so lucrative and enfranchising. To preserve the integrity of the peasantry and recognizing the role of coffee in the African economies, Saleh founded the Africa Coffee Bureau to facilitate promotion, market linkages and trade negotiations for the African coffees in North America.