Jinja – Busoga Kingdom has secured a lucrative market for coffee farmers in the sub-region, Daily Monitor can reveal.
The deal struck with German company Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG), one of the world’s leading players in the coffee value chain, will eliminate the middle man from the picture, leaving the farmers to directly negotiate for what is due to them as opposed to what is meant for them.
Busoga Kingdom Prime Minister, Mr Joseph Muvawala revealed the deal last week, saying the reward that will be accrued from this move will be far better than the proceeds gotten out of sugarcane growing in the region.
Speaking at the launch of Busoga Coffee Project at the Kingdom headquarters in Bugembe last week, Mr Muvawala disclosed the partnership with NKG, describing it as the biggest buyer of coffee in the world.
He said: “We are going to eliminate middle men who have been buying coffee from farmers at a low price.”
He continued: “Neumann Kaffee Gruppe will be buying our coffee at Shs5,600 per kilogramme instead of Shs3,200 which is the current price at which farmers sell their coffee.”
Part of his job description, he said, is to see Busoga sub-region become the leading producer of coffee in Uganda as well as with the richest farmers in the country.
This, he said, can be achieved through working hard and focusing in coffee growing, let alone work as a team in cooperative so as to harness advantages that accrue from mass production.
Coffee demonstration farms will also be established while letting land for sugar cane growing will be discouraged as a measure to protect the fertility of the soil reserved for coffee growing.
Traditionally coffee is the country’s leading cash crop. However farmers in Busoga sub-region, although good coffee farmers, appear to be more endeared toward sugar cane growing at the expense of other cash crops, including food crops.
The appeal by the Kingdom’s Prime Minister that coffee can be grown alongside food crops could be a game changer that eventually results into farmers abandoning sugar cane in favour of coffee growing.
The next battle will be how the sugar producers, most of whom are located in Busoga sub-region will react to the Kingdom’s open appeal to leave sugar cane growing in favour of coffee plantations.