Plans have been finalised to help Coffee farmers in the Rwenzori region access pre-harvest loans to curb the practice of picking unripe coffee berries.
The move is intended to improve the quality of coffee produced in the region in order to attract better prices on the international market.
This decision was reached during a meeting on Monday between representatives of four international companies dealing in buying and processing of coffee and officials from the Rwenzururu Nyabaghole Foundation for Development [RWENFOD].
The meeting was brokered by the Grate Lakes Coffee Company in coordination with the US-based Fare Trade Company and held at the formers offices in Kasese town.
Uganda revised an earlier forecast of its coffee exports in the 2012/13 season to 3.2 million 60-kg bags from a year ago on good weather and increased coffee acreage, a the Ugandan Coffee Development Authority said on Monday.
The east African country had said in October that its exports would rise by 11 percent to 3 million bags. Uganda's coffee season runs from October to September.
"We have had remarkably favourable weather marked by good rains interspersed with dry episodes throughout all the growing areas which has certainly helped in ensuring a good crop this season," Norman Mutekanga, manager for Strategy and Development at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, told Reuters.
The senior presidential advisor on poverty alleviation, Ms Joan Kakwenzire, has advised the people of Nakaseke District to utilise their land by engaging in commercial farming activities, saying it is possible to eliminate household poverty through agriculture.
She made the remarks yesterday at Kikyusa Model Parish in Semuto Sub-county where she distributed about 60,000 coffee seedlings to farmers to enable them take up coffee growing.
The seedlings were from President Museveni to boost farming in the district. Ms Kakwenzire also disclosed that the President's donation of Shs150 million for farmers had been released, adding that another offer of 100 Friesian cows and 100 goats for farmers in Kikyusa Model Parish was also ready.
The coffee industry in Uganda received a fresh jolt of energy as International Trade Centre (ITC), working with investors and funding from the Dutch government, updated the country’s National Export Strategy (NES), further enabling umbrella associations and farmer organizations to gain access to the European market.
Stakeholders from both the private and public sectors recommended changes to the NES and discussed results of the Netherlands Trust Fund Phase II (NTF II) Uganda programme on Tuesday 5 March at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Uganda. The goal of NTF II is to improve the livelihoods of producers by increasing productivity.
Ronald Ssenyondo has grown has grown coffee as his sole source of income for most of his adult life. But in 2000, Ssenyondo's coffee returns began to go on a downward spiral that continued for the following two years. When he eventually decided that a reversal of his coffee farm's fortunes had begun to look unachievable due to six started to contemplate a move from coffee farming. "I was planning to give up coffee farming and look at other alternatives such as poultry keeping," explained Ssenyondo, a resident of Kalungu District.
New coffee campaign starts to pay off
However, in 005 when Ssenyondo wanted to start poultry keeping, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority(UCDA) was finalizing plans of launching a new initiative to rehabilitate old coffee trees that had been affected by the wilt disease .UCDA later partnered with other players to export about four million (60kg bags) of coffee by 2015.