Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has asked farmers to stop harvesting premature coffee in the name of maximising profits from the crop.
The President also asked processors of the cash crop to reject premature coffee beans and strive to ensure totally eradication of the vice.
“Stop harvesting premature coffee. It compromises the quality of the finished product. This vice affects Uganda’s competitiveness in the world market. All processors should reject such premature coffee beans and ensure that we totally eliminate this vice,” Mr Museveni said.
According to a State House statement, the President made the call in Kikwaya Sub-County of Kakumiiro District, Bunyoro Sub-Region at the launch of Kikwaya coffee factory.
The investment belongs to businessman Karoli Kamanyire, a prominent liberation war veteran.
The facility has an installed capacity of processing 10 tonnes of coffee per day.
Museveni facilitated the processor to resume production following the destruction of machines during an attack by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) bandits.
Kamanyire’s family ventures, among others include piggery, a flourmill and carpentry work.
The President urged farmers in the area to increase coffee output so that the factory’s potential benefits the community in Bunyoro Sub-Region.
He urged citizens to desist from sleeping and alcoholism and expend their energies to create household wealth.
Creating industrial zones
President Museveni said the policy of the NRM government is to transform Sub-Counties into mini industrial zones adding that plans were underway to provide the youth with grain and feed mills to facilitate income generation. Under this arrangement, he said, they will be able to produce starch for use in manufacturing medical tablets and that furniture workshops would be established in all parts of the country to stop dependence on supplies from Kampala.
Museveni also commended Kamanyire for creating income.
He observed that the people of Bunyoro Sub-Region have got the potential to generate good income from milk production like Kiruhuura District in South Western Uganda, which has 18 Sub-Counties, with 296 milk plants.
On the issue of environment, the President cautioned the people against deforestation and cultivating in wetlands.
He said that the water bodies are the key facilities to ensure success in the irrigation schemes that will sustain agro-production activities throughout the years.
Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Matia Kasaija told residents that government will build the premises of Kikwaya Sub-County.
Kakumiro District LC5 Chairman, Joseph Sentayi, appealed to President Museveni to intervene in the issue of investors who are attempting to deny sitting tenants their privilege of receiving land titles from government under the programme of compensating absentee land lords.
Karoli Kamanyire saluted President Museveni for the revival and upgrading of his coffee factory.
Coffee export volumes
Uganda’s coffee exports in December 2018 amounted to about 314.4 60-kilo bags earning the country the much needed foreign exchange of US $32.41 million, according to Uganda Development Coffee Authority (UCDA) says in its report.
But the figures represented a decrease of 18.51 per cent and 24.06 per cent in quantity and value respectively from the same month in 2017.
By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last coffee year (December 2017/18 and 2018/19), Robusta registered a percentage decrease in both quantity and value (16.51 per cent and 22.67 per cent) respectively.
Arabica exports also registered a percentage decrease in both quantity and value -24.71 per cent and 27.35 per cent respectively.
Coffee exports for the last 12 months (January 2018- December 2018) amounted to 4.17 million bags worth US $ 436 million compared to 4.77 million worth US $555 million the previous year, a 12.58 per cent and 21.30 per cent reduction in both quantity and value respectively .
Some of the factors that led to this were: Low global prices on account of higher crop in Brazil which affected export prices and high stocks at exporter and farm level.
By David Sseguya