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Friday,October 19,2018 09:17 AM

Stakeholders want coffee law fast-tracked

By Faridhah Kulabako

Added 4th November 2016 11:24 AM

The National Coffee Policy was formulated in 2013, but a law is yet to be drafted.

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From left, Nucafe entrepreneurship services manager Deus Nuwagaba, Nucafe executive director Joseph Nkandu and Nucafe chairman Gerald Ssendaula during the presentation of the gold medal

The National Coffee Policy was formulated in 2013, but a law is yet to be drafted.

Stakeholders in the coffee sub-sector have asked the Government to urgently enact a coffee law to punish malpractices in the coffee value chain and save the industry.

Frustrated stakeholders said the malpractices start right from the propagation through post-harvest handling and selling.

They said a punitive law would arrest the deteriorating coffee quality and boost yields and subsequently, earnings. Farmers, under their umbrella organisation, the National Union for Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (Nucafe) blame the absence of such a law for the careless handling and resultant decline of coffee.

Gerald Ssendaula, Nucafe chairman, said: “People are picking green coffee beans, which undermine the quality; but because we have no law, you cannot arrest and charge anyone for picking green coffee beans or drying them on bare soil,” he added.

The National Coffee Policy was formulated in 2013, but a law is yet to be drafted.

According to Nucafe, the law should streamline production and marketing of coffee, provide standards for pre and post-harvest handling.

Uganda’s August coffee exports fell 9.22% year-on-year to 291,059 60kg bags from 320,607 bags in August last year and its value dropped by 7.66%, according to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.

“People claim that coffee prices have been declining. The price of good quality coffee never falls as that is what everyone wants,” Ssendaula said.

Despite the lowvolume, coffee exports are Uganda’s biggest foreign-exchange earner after tourism and remittances from Ugandans living abroad.

Executive director Joseph Nkandu said Nucafe uses an agribusiness model that helps improve farmers’ incomes


According to Nucafe, coffee can still earn Uganda all her needed foreign exchange and propel it to middle income status by 2020. They expect a rise in the global coffee demand from 140 million 60kg bags to between 150 million and 160 million by 2020, which presents a huge opportunity for Uganda.

The country targets to increase production from 3.56 million bags to 20 million bags by 2020.

The stakeholders’ concerns were aired during an event to showcase the Premagyan global gold award for compassion and wisdom, which Nucafe won at the Good100 competition in Lausanne, Switzerland recently.

The competition, organised by Good Festival sought to recognise projects with sustainable business models that exemplify compassion and wisdom. It evaluated about 8,800 innovation projects.

Nucafe executive director Joseph Nkandu, who represented the organisation in Switzerland, noted that Nucafe uses an agribusiness model that helps improve farmers’ incomes by encouraging them to own their coffee along the various stages of the value chain.

Farmers are trained to assume as many roles and responsibilities as possible in the coffee value chain in order to increase their incomes from the value added.

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