Tuesday January 7 2014

Government launches new policy to boost coffee sector

A farmer harvests coffee. Government has launched a new policy

A farmer harvests coffee. Government has launched a new policy aimed at boosting coffee production in the country. File photo 

By Monitor correspondent

Government has launched a new policy that seeks to boost the country’s coffee sector. At least Shs24bn has been earmarked for planting some 100 million coffee seedlings every year until 2016.

According to the recently launched National Coffee Policy, the commodity remains one of the country’s most important commercial agricultural commodities, contributing an annual average of about 20 per cent of Uganda’s total export revenue over the last 10 years.

The ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries recently launched the Coffee Policy, which outlines clear-cut interventions required for boosting the performance and development of the coffee sector.

“The formulation process of this policy was highly consultative, involving all key stakeholders in government, coffee industry and non-governmental institutions and a cross section of society.

It will therefore be a solid foundation for review of supportive legal and regulatory frameworks that will create an enabling environment for guiding the coffee sub-sector,” Mr Tress Bucyanayandi, the minister for Agriculture, said during the launch.

According to reports, funding for the promotion of coffee growing, had stagnated at Shs 1bn per year, a figure that coffee promoters say is too little.

According to Kakuuto MP Mathias Kasamba, also chairperson of the Parliamentary committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, with increased enthusiasm to reactivate coffee plantations, government had expressed commitment to increase funding for the coffee sector.

Budgetary allocations were increased to Shs24 billion this financial year.