Ugandan coffee body wins African award

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NUCAFE chairperson Gerald Ssendaula (C) shows the plaque

NUCAFE chairperson Gerald Ssendaula (C) displays a plaque the group received for being the best farmer organisation. Photo by M. Ssali 

By  Michael J Ssali

Posted  Friday, December 6  2013 at  02:00

KAMPALA- The National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) has been recognised as the best farmer organisation in Africa by the Agricultural Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). This was announced during the award ceremony organised by AGRA, Africa Growth Institute (AGI) and African Investment Climate Research (AFRICRES) in Accra Ghana last week.

The award came with a reward of Shs20 million according to NUCAFE chairperson Gerald Ssendaula who travelled to Accra together with NUCAFE executive director Joseph Nkandu to attend the ceremony.

More than 25 farmer organisations across Africa took part in the competition in which AGRA, AGI, and AFRCRES conducted an independent research to find and profile Farmer Organisations that excel in the five categories of: income diversity, youth and female participation, advocacy, governance and transparency, and market access.
NUCAFE emerged overall winner in the income diversity category.

NUCAFE comprises of coffee farmers in over 160 farmers associations spread throughout all coffee growing regions across the country and over 600,000 individual coffee farmers in its membership.

Mr Ssendaula, who is also former Minister of Finance, observed that it was unfortunate that the victory for the coffee producing organisation has come about at the time when Uganda’s national focus appears to have been switched to oil drilling.

“Oil is a natural resource that will be exhausted within a short time and which we have no capacity to increase,” he said. “Yet the production of coffee which has always been our main source of foreign exchange can be increased and multiplied with our own effort. The government should therefore still remain focused on a commodity whose quantity we have the capacity to increase.”

He announced that the Uganda National Coffee Policy has finally been formulated and approved by cabinet and that it is to be officially launched on Friday 6 December 2013 at Kituuza Coffee Research Institute, in Mukono District. The effort to formulate the policy was initiated during the national coffee farmers’ assembly hosted by NUCAFE in 2008 at the Nelson Mandela Stadium, Namboole.