Buganda Kingdom tasks govt to review coffee deal
What you need to know:
- On February 10, 2022, the government represented by the Minister of Finance, Mr Matia Kasaija, signed an investment agreement with Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Ltd (UVCC) represented by Ms Enrica Pinetti, the company’s board chairperson.
Buganda Kingdom has tasked the central government to review the recent coffee agreement saying that it does not favour the main stakeholders in coffee production.
The Buganda Kingdom’s call came at a time when the central government is still stuck with the new coffee agreement.
On February 10, 2022, the government represented by the Minister of Finance, Mr Matia Kasaija, signed an investment agreement with Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Ltd (UVCC) represented by Ms Enrica Pinetti, the company’s board chairperson.
The agreement outlines several incentives for the company to set up a coffee processing plant in Namanve.
Speaking to the media during this year’s third Lukiiko at Bulange Mengo on Monday, the Buganda Kingdom Premier, Mr Charles Peter Mayiga, said that the recently signed coffee deal needs to be amended by the government so that stakeholders are also involved in the process.
“We need to involve all stakeholders in this agreement if we are to benefit in coffee production in Uganda because they are the main pillars in ensuring the good quality and quantity of the coffee, and also be able to determine the market price,” he said.
Mr Mayiga added that all along, several organisations have come out to support coffee production in the country but the agreement doesn’t involve them anywhere.
“You cannot be the main investor in coffee production when you are not in the position to support the farmers in ensuring good quality and increasing their productivity,” he said.
However, Mr Mayiga urged farmers to continue growing coffee saying that it’s the only surviving cash crop in Buganda region and Uganda at large.
He noted that since the Buganda Kingdom started the coffee-growing campaign in the central region (Mwanyi Telimba) in 2016, they have registered an increase in coffee production.
“We have so far grown 25000 hectares of coffee plantations in a period of six years and we have reduced the rate of the poor production of coffee from 65 to 5 per cent,” he said.
According to the Uganda National Bureau of Standards, coffee exportation has increased in the past six years from 1,379,000 bags to 1,928,150 bags in 2019/2020.
Mr Mayiga added that it is very unfortunate that Uganda ranks high in coffee production in Africa but it was removed from the International Coffee Organization (ICO) without a genuine reason.
The Buganda Premier also asked the government to reduce taxes imposed on the products imported to the country to curb the ever-increasing commodity prices.
“Reducing taxes will help the government to maintain the fuel and commodity prices because fuel is the main product which drives the market price on every commodity,” he said.
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Speaking during the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary Caucus meeting last month, Mr Museveni attributed the runaway prices to distortions in the supply chain caused by the collapse of sectors of the economy that were badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant containment measures.