Minister Kasaija tips farmers on better coffee harvesting , proper handling
Coffee Farmers from Ankole Rwenzori and Kigezi gathered at coffee industrial Hub in Ntungamo asked the Hon Minister Kasaijja to operationalize the Hub immidiatetly as its the only gate way for farmers to access premium prices foe their coffee. The Season is now and the 10M USD is needed rightway for buying of coffee .
The chairman – Tugume mentioned to us this is a seed capital to Uganda Coffee investment Consotium aimed at adding value to Uganda’s coffee export to fit the world market. We already have orders to over $ 450M from Estern Europe, UAE, UK. These need to be serviced with both quality and quanties requireed to keep our intergrity in the market.
For along time, Uganda’s coffee has been lugging behind on the world market compared to Vietnam Ethiopian and other coffee growing countries.
According to minister of finance Matia Kaija, this is attributed to ignorance of farmers on the proper handling of coffee on different stages such as proper storage, harvesting and switable standards in form of grading and other international coffee handling standards.
He says this has led very to low prices of Uganda’s despite the most wanted aroma it offers on the world market.
Minister has urged farmers to embrace value addition in the drying, storing and every stage of handling coffee as empharsised by President Museveni because this is the only way our coffee can hit the desired price on the world market.
He says government has set a side 10 million Dollars to fully operationalize the tertiary coffee processing Hub in Ntungamo that was opened by 29th Dec 2022 and other 5 coffee production hubs in the main coffee growing areas of Rwenzori, Mitooma, Kigezi , kapuchorwa and central Uganda to avoid the losses our country has been undergoing over time. This effort will be working with 100,000 farmers.
Nelson Tugume the head of the Uganda Coffee investment Consotium says this money will help to kickstart the process though the entire program needs USD350M to operate to full capacity.
The big componet in the project that is taking a chuck of money is the freeze dry soluble coffee techology estimated at USD 55M. Tugume adds that they ready have an investor who has commiteed Euros 22 Million and already have a site of 20 Acres in Mukono. Uganda will be the first to have freeze dry techonology in Africa. Veitanum which started growing coffee 30 years ago has over 3 soluble coffee factories.
The Total investment by the coffee consortium members in existance is estamited at $ 57 Million.
And therefore the seed of $10M will fall on the fertile ground said by the Minister on what had already been done at the Ntungamo Hub. He added he will have time to visit the other Hubs
Tugume told us that with this support there is hope that Uganda’s coffee will confidently in the be in the world market as a single origin since every stakeholder will be empowered on the desired international level of coffee handling.
This will fullfill president Museveni’s dream of value addition which he has kept on preaching overtime of donating value and jobs of our young people
The local leaders are at the center of every stage of production and this is the project that will have them taught the necessary skills and latest technology in coffee handling.
The state minister for trade Harriet Ntabaazi says if coffee is properly handled its price can rise from 2 dollars to 25 dollars and more which is approximately 100,000 Uganda shillings.
She has warned the farmers on bad harbits like their, bad harvesting practices which degrade our coffee and lead to low prices.
After a tour has been conducted on the Ntungamu Value addition coffee plant and it’s latest technology in coffee production which highly fits on the world market.
Local leaders have ahad a collective voice in promoting the coffee business in this region.