The NFU President will run the London Marathon to raise money to help eastern African farmers run profitable agricultural businesses.
Farm Africa, a charity which aims to improve the lives of African farmers, is aiming to raise more than £170,000 through the appeal and the UK government will match all donations from the public.
NFU President Minette Batters and Vice President Stuart Roberts are running the London Marathon for the international development charity to raise funds to help farmers in eastern Africa run profitable businesses.
Matched funding unlocked from the UK government will also directly fund a Farm Africa's 'Coffee is Life' project that will give women in Kanungu in western Uganda the opportunity to make a decent living from coffee farming.
Coffee is Uganda’s most valuable crop, yet coffee farmers are struggling to get by as they lack the tools, training and bargaining power needed to grow enough coffee and sell it for a fair price.
Women suffer the most as they provide the bulk of the low paid, unskilled labour, while men own the land and make most of the profit. Women typically earn 38% less than men.
The project will help female farmers gain access to the land they need to grow coffee on, set up savings associations so they have access to finance to invest in developing their businesses, and support to take on leadership roles within their local coffee cooperatives.
'Tools to build a business'
NFU President Minette Batters said raising money for the charity will give African farmers the 'tools to build a business'.
“That’s why it means so much to us because it’s tangible as you can see the difference it makes to people who are leading incomparable lives to our farming existence,” she said.
Will Evans, a farmer from Wrexham who runs the Rock and Roll Farming Podcast, is also running the Marathon for the appeal.
He said: “One of the best things about being part of the farming community is that no matter where you are in the world, you have something in common with other farmers there, and can appreciate their struggles and challenges.
“When I started looked into the work that Farm Africa are doing to reduce poverty and drastically improve the lives of farmers and their families in East Africa, I knew that I wanted to get involved.”
Donations to the Coffee is Life appeal from individuals based in the UK will be doubled by the government through UK Aid Match between 8 February and 8 May 2019.