WANTS 'SMART AGRICULTURE PRACTICES': Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja.

Minister of Agriculture, Vicent Ssempijja has revealed that Uganda Coffee Development Authority is moving to stop the issuance of new certificates to new elite Robusta coffee nursery except to operators in drought prone districts in Northern Uganda and parts of North Eastern and Eastern Uganda.

The minister said, the move is aimed at blocking illegal farmers dealing in the activity of giving poor quality seedling to farmers for his is in line with contribution to the attainment of 20 million bags per year target envisioned in the Coffee Road map recently launched by President Museveni.

“Production of coffee seedlings in the Arabica coffee growing districts, in limited quantities, shall continue but under strict guidance from UCDA,” he said adding that the Propagation of Coffee Wilt Disease Resistant clonal cuttings in Robusta Coffee growing areas, shall continue and be scaled up, but under strict guidance from UCDA.

The minister said, Coffee seed gardens shall continue to be certified UCDA on behalf of the ministry and any nursery operator that may wish to privately engage in elite coffee seedlings production must first get clearance from UCDA.

According to Ssempijja, the ministry through Uganda Coffee Development Authority, District Local Governments and operation wealth creation has been implementing a coffee planting programme aimed at raising, distributing and planting 300 million coffee seedlings per year.

He said all coffee nursery operators with elite Robusta coffee seedlings should, with immediate effect should scale down seedlings and production so as not to have any carry over stock and the promotion of multiplication of Coffee Wilt Disease Resistant (CWDR) clonal cuttings through establishment of mother gardens will continue.

“Coffee nursery operators who wish to plant their already raised coffee seedlings in their gardens before the end of the second season of 2019 are free to do so as long as verification by UCDA and District Local Government Officials confirm,”

He said only mature and quality coffee seedlings which will have been certified and are available before the end of the second planting season will be procured by UCDA.

Starting with the second planting season of September-November 2019, he said the Ministry will start scaling down the production and distribution of elite Robusta coffee seedlings to farmers.