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US calls for more investment in agriculture to fight poverty

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Coffee being served during at the 10th African Fine Coffee Conference in Kampala yesterday.

Coffee being served during at the 10th African Fine Coffee Conference in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN WANDERA 

By Frederic Musisi

Posted  Friday, February 15   2013 at  02:17

In Summary

About coffee farming
The social – economic footprint of coffee remains quite high, with almost 1.3 million households involved in it. The total value for its exports for 2010–2011 was $449 million, a large increase over earlier years.

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The United States government has exhorted its Uganda counterpart to step up investments in agriculture if they are to succeed in the fight against poverty.
“The United States calls upon African leaders to lead the boosting of agriculture if disasters like poverty and hunger are to be fought on the continent,” said U.S Ambassador to Uganda Scott Scott DeLisi yesterday.

“As donors we have the duty to push for such developments but it’s upon African governments to strive and turn good ideas into realities, tackle constant challenges in the sectors, exploit opportunities in order to alleviate poverty through enhancing family incomes,” Mr DeLisi added.

The ambassador made the call while opening the 10th African Fine Coffee Conference and exhibition at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort in Kampala, which brought together various and distinguished coffee players from the world.
Mr DeLisi added that through the ‘feed the future’ initiative, a total of $150 million (Shs400 billion) had been invested in the agriculture sector to boost the growth of maize, beans and coffee.

Opening the conference, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi said government was clearly aware of the state of agriculture in the country, but with the pending commercial oil production, a lot was to change once kicked started. Afican Development Bank vice-president Ali Saba also expressed their commitment to support coffee growing.