Wednesday June 4 2014

Seek practical solutions, minister tells UCDA

New UCDA board members with Mr Bucyanayandi.

New UCDA board members with Mr Bucyanayandi. PHOTO BY GEOFREY SSERUYANGE 

By Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa

The Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Tress Bucyanayandi, has asked Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) to seek practical solutions to the challenges in the coffee sector.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new 11-member board in Kampala, he pointed out the challenges as: pests and diseases, low production, poor quality beans and high percentage of old coffee trees.

“Your predecessors developed policies and programmes on coffee wilt disease, replanting, quality improvement, value addition and promotion of domestic coffee consumption, and a special intervention programme in northern Uganda. It is your duty to build on these efforts,” he said

The other issues not fully addressed that need to be, including support to Kituza Research Station, slow implementation of the coffee policy, review of the Coffee Act and funding of research.

The new board is headed by Perez Bukumunhe, former general manager of Cooperative Bank, who will serve until 2017. He replaces Fabian Tibeita, who was chair from 2008 to 2012. Other members are: Henry Ngabirano, Valentine Okot, Gerald endaula, Rose Kato, Ayub Kalule, Hannington Karuhanga, Robert Nsibirwa, Beatrice Byarugaba, Dr Albert Musisi and Silver Ojakol.

According to UCDA, there are signs of strong growth in volumes and value with its strategy of encouraging more youth and women to grow the crop. Production is set to increase it by 10 percent.