Government of Uganda (GOU), through the guidance of His Excellency, The President, has prioritised coffee, tea and citrus fruits as major strategic commodity enterprises for emphasis in the drive to move the country to middle-income status by the year 2020.
In this respect, Government desires to accelerate coffee production from the current 3.5 million 60-kg bags to 20 million 60-kg bags by 2020.
In support of the above goal, the coffee Sub-sector is expected to plant 300 million coffee seedlings per year for the next three years (FY 2016/17 to FY 2018/19).
This drive is being spearheaded by Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) in collaboration with Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), Local Governments (LGs) and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU).
Aware of the changing weather patterns, capacity challenges facing farming households and the need to ensure availability of good quality coffee seedlings for planting during September to November 2016 season, a team comprising officials from UCDA, OWC and District Local Governments are visiting coffee growing districts.
The visits are meant to assess the survival rate of the coffee seedlings distributed through various Districts to farmers during September to November 2015 and March to May 2016 planting seasons.
They are also assessing the effect of weather changes and other farm management practices that could have caused mortality of planted seedlings and the level of farmer preparedness for September to November 2016 coffee planting season.
More to be assess is the coffee seedlings availability for September-November 2016 coffee planting season and available with Households for new coffee planting or expansion.
Government thus directed local officials and farmers to receive the teams and support the coffee seedlings verification exercise as well as provide information truthfully without any fear.
The information collected by the verification teams shall be used only for purposes of planning and improving the coffee seedlings distribution and enhancement of farmers’ coping mechanisms to erratic weather, poor agronomic practices both of which if well managed lead to increased household incomes.
Coffee seedlings allocations to districts for September-November 2016 and subsequent seasons shall be based on registered farmers that have dug the right size holes (2 feet x 2 feet x 2 feet – at spacing of 10 feet x 10 feet for
Robusta and 8 feet x 8 feet for Arabica coffee).
LGs and OWC Coordinators will take lead on this in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures.