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Bunyoro Coffee Farmers Demand UGX 1.2Bn from UCDA

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.

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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 authority.   

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.    

Runyoro Audio

 

//Cue in: “Tuka saplayinga Omumwani…

   

Cue out:…Kutwara ebintu byaitu,”//   

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.    

 

//Cue in: ”We are requesting…  

Cue out:…here we are.”//    


  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.    

//Cue in: “Nka saplayinga emyani…    

Cue out:…Titwina atu yamba.”//    

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.   

 

//Cue in:  “Was certified to…  

Cue out:…are still unpaid.”//   

 

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.   .    

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