Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Kingdom of Buganda has started purchasing coffee from farmers in order to provide a ready market at a good price.
Buganda’s State Minister for Local Government Joseph Kawuuki, has written to all the county chiefs informing them of the development and urging them to mobilize farmers to sell their coffee to the kingdom’s company Mwanyi Terimba Limited.
The kingdom set up Mwanyi Terimba Limited in 2021, a company limited by shares to buy coffee from the farmers and to find a market for it externally. This company whose warehouse is in Namanve industrial area, has kicked off its operations IN the new the financial year 2022-2023, and is to purchase coffee from farmers and also add value to the produce, completing the value chain of coffee as spearheaded by BUCADEF.
Farmers in Uganda’s coffee-growing regions had recently been alarmed by the emergence of the controversial Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited-UVVCCL, a privately owned firm, deployed by the government to have priority of buying Uganda’s coffee for export.
This moreover came at the time Uganda through the Uganda Coffee Development Authority-UCDA withdrew its membership from the International Coffee Organization. This also sent fears in the local coffee sector that Uganda’s coffee would not find its way to the international market controlled by the International Coffee Organization, especially in Europe which accounts for 70 percent of the country’s coffee market. This was due to the fear that Uganda’s coffee would not be able to get the Certificate of Origin provided by the organization.
Following the withdrawal from ICO, and the controversial coffee deal which the kingdom and different stakeholders criticized and parliament quashed, the Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga encouraged people not to lose hope and encouraged them to continue growing coffee as the kingdom was in the process of starting to buy coffee from the individual farmers to save them from exploitation.
In 2016, Mayiga under the Kingdom of Buganda inaugurated a campaign dubbed “Emwanyi Terimba”. Mayiga engaged the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and formed a partnership in an attempt to boost coffee growth in Buganda region.
The UCDA was to provide seedlings and partner with the kingdom’s Buganda Cultural and Development Foundation (BUCADEF) to provide technical knowledge on the new development while the kingdom was to ensure people embrace growing coffee again.
Katikkiro Mayiga revealed that people have embraced the campaign, and coffee growth has increased by 35%. He also revealed that the Buganda region contributed 30% of the coffee exported from Uganda.
Katikkiro Mayiga says that the government should put efforts into ensuring that the extension workers in the districts are accessible to the farmers to offer technical advice on coffee farming. He says other things that should be done include providing farming equipment at affordable prices, fighting fake herbicides on the market that cannot kill weeds, and carrying out research on diseases that dry up the coffee plants.
While reading this year’s budget for the kingdom, Waggwa Nsibirwa, the kingdom’s finance minister revealed that 18 model coffee farms are going to be started in the kingdom counties and that all these agricultural interventions have been budgeted at 2.2 billion Shillings.
The kingdom has so far set up coffee nurseries in Busiro, Buddu, Busujju, Butambala, Gomba, Kyaggwe, and Mawokota. This is to ensure that farmers can easily get high-quality coffee seedlings at an affordable cost from the counties where they stay.