What you need to know:
- Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II says adding vallue to coffee will help farmers compete in local and international markets.
Kabaka (king) Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has urged his subjects to add value to coffee to benefit more from the yields.
The Kabaka made the remarks during the 29th coronation celebration at Bulange in Mengo, Kampala, yesterday.
For the third time in a row, the celebrations were held “scientifically” to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Mr Mutebi said value addition is the only way coffee farmers can compete in the local and international markets.
He added that Buganda Kingdom is putting a lot of emphasis on coffee production because, in the past, coffee was one of the most grown cash crops in the country.
“Coffee is one of the products which contributes the biggest percentage to the economy of the country and it has also employed Ugandans starting from the grassroots,” Mr Mutebi said.
The Kabaka added that coffee production is one of the income-generating activities that can reduce poverty in the county because it involves several business subsectors.
“We urge the government to put in place measures that can help coffee stakeholders to benefit from the product,” he said.
“We can only benefit from coffee production if we focus on maintaining standards. This can only be achieved if coffee seedlings, fertilisers and pesticides are sold at favourable prices,” he said
The Kabaka added that there is a need to have extension farmers in every sub-county to guide the farmers on how they can increase their production and have stable prices of coffee.
He applauded the Katikkiro (premier) of Buganda, Mr Charles Peter Mayiga, for being at the forefront in urging farmers to continue growing coffee despite the existing challenges.
“Currently there are signs indicating that Buganda region is working hard to increase coffee production in the country by bringing more farmers on board and the yield has increased,” he said .
At the same event, the kingdom unveiled the still photos of 31 former kings from 1200 to1889.
Katikkiro Mayiga said the project to search for the photos of the kabakas started seven years back and only five kings had still photos.
“We had to use the Internet and other means to search for the portraits of the 31 kings,” he said.
The call comes a little over a month since Parliament voted to terminate the controversial coffee deal signed between the government and the Uganda Vinci Coffee Ltd.
The deal had given Uganda Vinci Coffee Ltd exclusive rights to buy the country’s coffee.
The House based their decision on mainly three major reasons; the deal contravened multiple sections of law; the company doesn’t have financial capacity to undertake the project, and lacks a valid investment licence. The House heard that the company’s investment licence issued in 2014 expired and was not renewed in 2019.
The lawmakers across the political spectrum also noted that the company linked to Italian investor Enrica Pinetti, who signed the controversial deal as a witness, doesn’t qualify for generous waivers.