Govt to supply 300 million coffee trees to boost exports

Kampala.
The Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, has said the government will supply an additional 300 million coffee trees to farmers in the next three years to double the country’s coffee exports.

“We who are old hands at coffee production should ensure more seedlings are distributed and I can assure you that we are going to double production in the next three years,” Dr Rugunda said, adding that Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) was leading the crusade.

The premier was meeting international coffee processors who paid him a courtesy call at his office on Tuesday.

Led by Mr Nicolas Tamari, managing director at SUCAFINA, a green coffee trading company based in Geneva, the processors are in Kampala to attend the 54th African Coffee Symposium aimed at finding ways of revamping coffee production in Africa.

Others on the team included Mr Luc Volatier and Mr Jan Luehmann of D. E Master Blenders, a multinational coffee roaster based in the Netherlands.

Dr Rugunda called for continued cooperation among various coffee stakeholders for mutual benefit and aised them to intensify value addition and industry predictability activities among farmers.

The authority’s managing director, Mr Henry Ngabirano, said coffee exports by Uganda, Africa’s second-biggest grower, may not change significantly in 2014-15 from last season because coffee plants were recovering slowly from drought.

The country’s major coffee planting campaign started in 1994 to replace trees that were affected by the coffee wilt disease.

The disease destroyed at least 150 million trees. Last year’s exports declined from a 14-year high of 3.58 million bags due to drought.

The numbers
36 million
Number of coffee bags Uganda Coffee Development Authority has distributed this year in a bid to increase current production from 3.5 million bags per year to 10 million bags.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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