Museveni tasks farmers on coffee value addition

President Museveni (centre) listens to Mr Nelson Tugume, the executive director of Inspire  Africa (second right), about the latter’s products at Inspire Africa Group Industrial Park in Ntungamo District  yesterday. PHOTO | FELIX AINEBYOONA. 

What you need to know:

  • Mr Museveni, who visited the Inspire Africa Group industrial hub in Ntungamo District on Tuesday, said some people are against the government’s support to the latter organisation owned by Mr Nelson Tugume but he insisted on supporting them to add value to coffee.

President Museveni has tasked coffee farmers on value addition to fight poverty.

 Mr Museveni, who visited the Inspire Africa Group industrial hub in Ntungamo District on Tuesday, said some people are against the government’s support to the latter organisation owned by Mr Nelson Tugume but he insisted on supporting them to add value to coffee.

 He said Mr Tugume, the executive director of Inspire Africa, is helping Africa to realise the importance of value addition and stop the exploitation of coffee farmers.

 “The global value of the coffee business is $460b. Out of the $460b the coffee producing countries of the world from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, all of them together...and Africa takes only $2.5b,” Mr Museveni said.

He said it is surprising that a country like Germany, which is not known for growing coffee earns $65 billion from coffee.

 “Germany, a non-coffee producing country, is earning more money from coffee than all the countries of the world. This is haemorrhage of value because a very good coffee type will go for $2.5 per kilo,” Mr Museveni said.

 He added: “I may get $2.5 per kilo but with some processing. But you ...not only get less money, but you also lose on some other support services because those jobs are done by other people; the roasting, the grinding, the packaging... the transporting.”

 Mr Museveni said the government is now focused on coffee value addition.

“We have dealt with the milk and now we are dealing with the coffee. We are going to deal with the bananas and also deal with the minerals, we are going to deal with all sectors within Uganda, but...Uganda will act as an example to the rest of Africa,” he said.

 Mr Museveni added: "The whole of Africa, our total GDP is now $3.5 trillion. The United States is like $20 trillion. Africa should be a total of $50 trillion, not $ 3.5 trillion.”

According to him, the battle for coffee is to stop the hemorrhage because Africa has been bleeding for a long time.

In Uganda when you export unprocessed coffee you get $2.5 , and when it is exported to countries like Japan that do not produce coffee, they process it and get $40 which is unfair,” he said adding that there will be a united front to add value to Ugandan Coffee which he termed as Chapter One. 

The President further promised to support the factory whose construction is at 60 percent, with the necessary materials for it to be completed on time. 

“Tugume was telling me what is required to complete it and I am going to support him,” Mr Museveni promised.
He also cautioned those threatening coffee farmers that they should tread carefully because he “will deal with them.”

On the other hand, President Museveni encouraged Ntungamo locals to unite, support and work with Mr Tugume if they want the factory to improve their economy and the economy of the country. 

Ms Monica Musenero, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation lauded the President for inspecting the progress of the project. 
“Your Excellency, I hope I am doing the work you sent me to do, and I hope you will give me feedback,” Dr. Musenero said.

Mr Tugume also thanked the President for believing in him and other coffee farmers even when the dream to put up a Coffee Factory seemed impossible. 
“Your Excellency, we are at war with many people, some people think we are taking their lunch,” Mr. Tugume said. 

He implored the Ntungamo people to support the factory, adding that it would benefit them with employment opportunities and improve their livelihoods. 
The visit to the factory was witnessed by Ministers, Members of Parliament, Ntungamo District Leaders, Coffee Farmers and Religious Leaders.

Since 2023, the government has been investing in the coffee value chain through the Coffee Investment Consortium Uganda (CICU) to increase export revenue from coffee, create employment opportunities and increase farm gate prices. 

CICU is a consortium that unites coffee stakeholders in the country to add value to coffee and promote the export of value-added coffee from Uganda as a single source origin. 
In the Financial Year 2023/2024,  the government of Uganda allocated resources through the Science,  Technology and Innovation (STI) Secretariat under the Office of the President towards the establishment of a modern Industrial coffee park in Rwashamaire Town Council,  Ntungamo District. 

The construction works which started in October 2023, are at 60 percent and will be completed in December 2024. Upon completion,  the park will produce instant coffee,  drip coffee, malt coffee,  coffee energy drink, and coffee beauty cosmetics.
In the long term, the value chain will increase Uganda’s coffee revenue from the current $1 billion to $4 billion.