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Coffee farmers’ census planned

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Coffee farmers’ census planned

Coffee is Uganda's biggest forex earner

Coffee is Uganda’s biggest forex earner



The new administration at Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has revealed plans to conduct a nation-wide census of all coffee farmers in the country in an effort to improve planning but also be in better position to make meaningful interventions in the sector.

This was revealed by the new UCDA MD Dr. Emmanuel Lyamulemye in Kampala while announcing activities to commemorate UCDA’s silver jubilee. The silver jubilee celebrations will start in April, 2017.

Although UCDA declined to name the date as well as the budget for the census exercise, they noted that the they will record among other things, the acreage used for coffee growing, density of planting, variety grown, age of trees, level of harvest as well as marketing methods used.

Lyamulemye pointed out that as part of the celebrations, they will seek to improve partnerships between the different players in the market that include government, banks, private individuals and other non government organizations.

How to register

UCDA says it will employ youth graduates to help it execute the exercise. He said the enumerators will use a computer application that will capture every individual farmer.

“This register will be of a great importance in following up coffee growing activities in every region, like planting, type of trees, the number of trees each farmer plants, and age of the tree, harvesting methods among others,” said the UCDA boss.

He added that through this exercise the board can easily identify the old trees and can find a way of boosting the production of each tree, to also know the size of the shamba and encourage farmers to dig holes two months before the planting season.

He said that the register will also help the UCDA in teaching farmers good farming techniques like fertilizer application, irrigation especially in the dry season, as well as monitoring all coffee growing activities.

“We are planning on giving out free coffee seeds of a very good quality to those interested in coffee growing,” said Lyamulemye.

If successful, the census could go a long way in increasing the chances of success for the government’s desire to increase the volume and value of coffee from the current 3.5m bags to 20 million bags annually by 2020.

The new minister of Agriculture Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja set a tough test for UCDA and himself of achieving 20 million bags of coffee annually by 2020, or else they both quit.

 

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