The Wood Foundation Africa became a co-majority shareholder in Enimiro Products Uganda Limited (Enimiro) in September 2022, marking its entry into both the vanilla sector and Uganda. The investment comprises equity and patient debt and was made alongside David Wright, the Founder of EPUL.

Enimiro works with approximately 3,000 farmers in the production, processing, and marketing of vanilla beans that meet organic and fair-trade certification in Uganda. Enimiro’s aim is to create a sustainable, transparent, and fully traceable vanilla value chain in partnership with smallholder farmers and premium buyers in key export markets.

This investment will support Enimiro’s growth and expansion plans, ensuring that more Ugandan vanilla farmers enjoy higher and sustainable returns. Farmers will also benefit from training and agronomy advice among other services from Enimiro.

Vanilla presents significant opportunity for sustainability and smallholder resilience. The crop is grown organically, and is intercropped with banana, coffee, and other crops which are also integrated into Enimiro’s direct farmer sourcing arrangements. This aligns well with the growing need for regenerative agriculture in the face of changing agroclimatic conditions and ensures famers can diversify their income sources maintaining their food production while benefitting from vanilla’s relatively higher returns.

Uganda is an ideal environment for growing vanilla as it replicates the crop’s native conditions on the Mexican plateau. Peak production and exports reached 300 MT in 2005 before falling due to low prices. It has risen again in recent years, reaching an estimated 200 MT in 2021. This makes vanilla an important crop for Uganda, with significant potential for generating export earnings, employment, and improved farmer incomes.

Watch this video to learn more about Enimiro.