Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam aimed at increasing production of coffee for export, animal health and crop protection.
Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has been seeking partnership with Vietnam which is known to have experienced an increase in coffee exports from less than 2 million bags in 1991 to 27.5 million bags per year, making the Coffee sub sector in Vietnam worth US Dollars 3.2 Billion.
The move is aimed at ensuring that the national target of 20 million bags of coffee exported per year by 2025 is reached. Last financial year alone, coffee fetched over $492 million.
According to the MOU, Uganda and Vietnam will exchange technicians and researchers, study and elaboration of projects of technical assistance, exchange scientific and technical information in the field of agricultural research conducted in the two countries.
Vincent Ssempijja, the Minister Agriculture, says that there shall be collaboration on the utilization of laboratory facilities involving the participation of private institutions in the area of livestock and plant protection, exchange of programs for the improvement of animal and plant production and soil fertility, storage and processing and market development and the promotion of international trade relations.
The MOU was signed by Christopher Kibazanga, the State Minister for Agriculture and Le Quoc Doanh the Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
According to Ssempijja, while Uganda is engaging partners home,more emphasis is going to be put on specific areas to boost coffee production.
“The Ministry of Agriculture is stepping up efforts towards promoting increased availability and access to Water for Agricultural Production,” Ssempijja noted.
He also says although the Ministry is nearing completion of new irrigation models for Coffee. The Ministry will also reinforce promotion of appropriate use of fertilizers to increase productivity of Coffee.
By 2014, Coffee generated over $410.1 million which is 31.7% of the agricultural export revenues and maintained its position as the biggest agricultural export from Uganda with fish and fish products in second position, having generated over $134.8 million which is 10.4% of the total.