Farmers under the Albertine Coffee
Nursery Bed Operators are up in arms against Uganda Coffee Development
Authority-UCDA for alleged payment of for the seedlings they supplied to the
The over 50 coffee farmers are drawn
from Hoima, Kibaale, Masindi and Kikuube districts. According to the farmers,
UCDA owes them Shillings 1.2 billion for 3,689,998 coffee seedlings they supplied
between 2017 and 2019. Each seedling was valued at 350 Shillings.
According to the agreement between the
farmers and UCDA, the farmers were supposed to receive payment after every three
months but this hasn’t happened. Kennedy Twikirize, the Chairperson Albertine
Coffee Nursery Bed Operators, says they injected a lot of money in the
seedlings but to date haven’t received their payment.
He says most of the farmers acquired
loans from banks to operate their Coffee Nursery beds knowing that they would get
payment in time to service their loans.
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Isreal Maniraguha, a coffee farmer from Kyarushesha in Kikuube district says UCDA
owes him Shillings 147 million for supplying 421,200 coffee seedlings in 2018
and 2019 respectively. He wonders why the Authority has taken long to pay them
contrary to their agreement.
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John Rwebembera, a Nursery Bed Operator in
Masindi, says the delayed payment of their money has grossly affected their
livelihoods. Rosemary Birungi, another farmer in Kiryatete cell in Hoima East
Division in Hoima Municipality, says she demands the authority Shillings 11
million for supplying 49,998 Coffee seedlings in 2018. According to Birungi,
she is financially constrained because she invested all her monies in her
coffee nursery beds.
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Jackson Bagonza, the UCDA Bunyoro Regional Coordinator confirms that the farmers
were indeed contracted to supply coffee seedlings to UCDA. He, however, says, unfortunately,
there was a delay in disbursing payments to coffee nursery operators not
only in Bunyoro but the entire country.
Bagonza has called for patience from the
farmers, saying they have started compiling their data to process their payment
before the end of this year.
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UCDA is a government agency mandated to "promote and oversee the coffee
industry by supporting research, promoting production, controlling the quality
and improving the marketing of coffee" in the country.