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Monday,October 21,2019 22:45 PM

DP dismisses Coffee Bill as unfair

By Nelson Kiva

Added 9th July 2019 05:28 PM

They said it is targeting to impoverish farmers and serve the interests of foreign companies dealing in coffee.

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L-R party member Samuel Lubega, Former presidential candidate Abed Bwanika, DP president Norbert Mau and Former MP Mike Mabikke addressing journalists at the city house on Tuesday 9th July 2019.Photo by Ivan Kabuye.

They said it is targeting to impoverish farmers and serve the interests of foreign companies dealing in coffee.

POLITICS
 
KAMPALA - The Democratic Party (DP) bloc has urged Members of Parliament (DP) to reject the Coffee Bill rubbishing it as unfair to coffee farmers.
 
Addressing journalists at a weekly party press conference at the City House based party headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday; the DP bloc principals led by Nobert Mao dismissed the intended legislation.
 
They said it is targeting to impoverish farmers and serve the interests of foreign companies dealing in coffee.
 
Both Mao and Abed Bwanika, the president of People’s Development Party (PDP), alleged that the legislation was targeting the predominantly coffee growing areas such as Buganda and urged members of parliament to reject it too.
 
The Bill among others gives powers to the Minister of Agriculture and the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) to register and deregister coffee farmers which DP is strongly opposed too.
According to Mao, Coffee is very important since it directly employees more than 1.5 million Ugandans and contributes over 20% of our export earnings.
 
“As DP we believe in quality assurance, we believe in extension work to support farmers and also in regulating the brand to ensure that Ugandan coffee is promoted worldwide,” he said.
 
Majority of the coffee farmers roughly own between one to five acres piece of land and according to DP the biggest coffee farm in Uganda is foreign owned at Kaweeri in Mubende district by Norman Group best in Hamburg in Germany.
 
“The DP bloc is concerned because the government’s policy appears to be encouraging partnership with foreigners against indigenous Ugandans,” Mao alleged.
 
The bill empowers the minister in charge to delete a farmer from the list of coffee farmers. According to Abed Bwanika, this puts many farmers at risk of deliberately being frustrated out of coffee growing.
 
“I urge Members of Parliament not pass such a law. We should protect Ugandans in the business of coffee growing,” Bwanika said.
 
Bwanika alleged that the Bill may have peculiar motives, questioning why coffee, not any other agricultural sectors such as animal husbandry.

 

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