Kampala: Members of Busoga Parliamentary Caucus have urged the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) to give Shs10 billion to help boost the coffee sector activities in the region considered one of the poorest in the country.
The MPs also called for the expeditious passing of the pending Coffee Bill would go a long way in setting standards for players in the sector especially concerning quality assurance.
“The Bill will streamline the procedures of distribution of coffee seedlings and other farm inputs to the farmers,” said Paul Akamba (Indep. Busiki County).
The MPs made the call while meeting with officials from UCDA, in a meeting chaired by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga on 26 June 2018. The meeting also discussed a coffee roadmap for the Busoga sub-region.
The Speaker Kadaga asked the UCDA officials to provide a projection on the production of coffee in Busoga sub-region.“How many bags of coffee do you expect from Busoga in the next two years? We need to designate money to that cause,” Kadaga said.
The Managing Director of UCDA Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye said that despite continued engagements, the Ministry of Finance had been reluctant to relerase a certificate of financial implication to expedite the Coffee Bill.
He, however, said that the coffee production in Busoga had improved since the 2013/2014 financial year where it stood at 2.3 million seedlings distributed, to presently 42.6 million seedlings distributed.
“We have mobilized farmers in the sub-region and supported nursery bed operators but we need more support from the MPs to tighten the loose ends,” Iyamulemye said.
MPs also raised concern on the concentration of the population on sugarcane growing, unproductive extension workers and late distribution of coffee seedlings as some of the limitations to the growth of the sector in Busoga.
“UCDA should always plan early and see to it that seedlings are distributed to farmers before the rainy seasons begin,” Henry Kibalya (NRM, Bugabula South) said.
Iyamulemye pledged to look into the figures and later present a detailed report to the caucus on Busoga’s expected coffee roadmap for the next three years.