Emmanuel Iyamulemye the Managing Director Uganda Coffee Development (UCDA) Authority addressing a news conference at Uganda Media Centre on Wednesday
Uganda will be looking to grow its coffee production from the current 4 million bags (60kgs) to an extra 16 million bags by the year 2020, according to Emmanuel Iyamulemye the Managing Director Uganda Coffee Development (UCDA) Authority.
He said that in line with this target, government intends to undertake intensive training and promotion of coffee consumption so as to increase local demand.
In the short term, UCDA plans to commence a nationwide farmer registration process to create a database for farmers, nursery dealers and input suppliers.
“We have developed a Mobile App on which registration will be done at every sub county. We shall rely on the human resource of our young interns,” Iyalemye revealed at a news conference held at Uganda Media Centre on Wednesday.
The exercise which will start in Mukono will also capture farmer details, acreage of their coffee plantations, type of coffee grown by the farmer, how old the trees are and the farmer location.
“This registration will also help us establish whether farmers are using irrigation and manure.”
Farmers will receive training on soil fertility management in order to produce good bean sizes that meet international demand, harvesting ripe coffee and ensuring that it is properly dried.
Iyalemye however noted that coffee production has been affected by among other issues, climate change which resulted into fluctuations in rains. He said mortality of the seeds was high especially in areas of Masaka during the last season.
On the policy front, the Minister of Agriculture is set to present proposed amendments in the Coffee Law to Cabinet in two weeks’ time. Experts have for long called for the revision of the law which they say is ‘outdated’.
Despite the setbacks, Iyalemye said; “There’s still high global demand for Ugandan coffee due to its rare intrinsic contents. I urge that more Ugandans invest in coffee farming.”
Statistics indicate that in the 2015-16 season, Uganda which largely grows Arabic a and Robusta coffee exported 3.32 million bags of coffee. The local market consumes only less than 3% of the 4 million produced.