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Sh8.1b needed to boost coffee investment in Northern Uganda

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’.

The objective of the study was to analyze the potential of expanding coffee production in Uganda and the resultant poverty reduction effect.

The study recommends that the coffee program needs to be intensified to leverage the poverty reduction effects associated with the crop. It said to achieve meaningful results for poverty, an average farming household of six persons should be encouraged to plant a minimum of 3 acres about 1350 – 1400 coffee trees and above.

They said there should be support the development of marketing and processing infrastructure. They add that additional support is required to strengthen Uganda Coffee Development Authority’s (UCDA) regional coordination extension system and technical support of the existing local government extension system on coffee management practices.

UCDA requires at least additional three extension staff to reside in each of the high potential areas of Apac, Oyam and Kole.