COFFEE farmers are working out ways to lure a majority of youths back into growing the cash crop from the boda-boda business they have recently embraced.
The Buganda Kingdom minister of investments, planning and economic development Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa who is also the District General of the 80 Rotary Clubs said the new initiative dubbed Coffee on Wheels is intended to entice the 77% of youth that constitutes the Uganda's population into the activity to make it vibrant.
To realise the potential economic benefits from coffee planting in northern Uganda, an estimated total investment of about US$ 3.2 m (sh8.1 b) over the five 5 years (2014-2018), is required.
Researchers from the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) in a report have said that by 2021, earnings from coffee produced from the Northern sub-region would amount to US$50m (sh150b).
Districts in the North with high potential to produce coffee include Apac, Oyam and Kole.
EPRC seasoned researchers Swaibu Mbowa, Tonny Odokonyero, and Dr Ezra Munyambonera did a study entitled 'The potential of coffee to uplift people out of poverty in Northern Uganda'.
One of NpM's working groups, a research has been carried out titled: "Finance for Smallholders - Opportunities for risk management by linking financial institutions and producer organisations"
The NpM Rural Finance working group focuses on improving its members' activities to increase access to financial services in rural areas.
In this light, the group decided in February 2014 to research which bottlenecks exist to finance smallholders, thereby identifying opportunities for risk management through linking financial institutions and producer organisations, in the countries Ethiopia, Mali, Rwanda and Uganda.
U.S. Mission Uganda, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has committed Shs1.3 billion to the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) for the implementation of the National Coffee Policy in 22 coffee growing districts in Uganda.
NUCAFE is currently implementing a two-year program called "Gender Based Advocacy for the Implementation of the National Coffee Policy," that will reach 20,000 farmers across Uganda's coffee growing regions.
Efforts to implement the National Coffee Policy got a shot in the arm after the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) earmarked $480,000 (approximately sh1.37b) towards promoting government of Uganda's coffee sector development plans as stipulated in the policy.
The policy is expected to rejuvenate Uganda's coffee sector.
This funding is channelled through the National Union of Coffee Agri-businesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE), a local entity that is taking on the task of popularising the policy among all actors in the coffee value chain.