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Kyotera Sensitizing Farmers as New Coffee Law, Causes More Discomfort

According to John Paul Mpalanyi, the Kyotera County MP, who is spearheading the campaign, the majority of coffee farmers are worried that the legislation is intended to give more powers to the government to cripple their efforts.
17 Oct 2021 12:22
John Paul Mpalanyi, the Kyotera County MP, explaining about the farmers' enlightment campaign.

Audio 5



Kyotera district leaders have embarked on an enlightenment campaign approach to help the farmers understand the significance of the National Coffee Act, 2021 in the promotion and expansion of the regional and international markets for Uganda’s coffee.     

The leaders say that although the legislation is meant to boost quality coffee production, household incomes, and the country’s economy, it was poorly presented to the farmers hence receiving public criticism.   

According to John Paul Mpalanyi, the Kyotera County MP, who is spearheading the campaign, the majority of coffee farmers are worried that the legislation is intended to give more powers to the government to cripple their efforts.

He says that failure to educate farmers about the law may scare more farmers out of the sector which may affect coffee production in the district.  

//Cue in: “Ekisookera dala nti……………   

Cue out:……………..baganyulwa mu.”//    

He explains that it is the responsibility of the leaders to help their electorate to empower residents to understand issues regarding the coffee act and what they can do to avoid being in conflict with it.

However, Mpalanyi says they are finding it a challenge to reach the huge crowds due to the Coronavirus Disease restrictions.   

//Cue in: “Obulemu bwetulina……………   

Cue out:………………….abantu baffe.”//   

He adds that they are further using the campaign to distribute some coffee seedlings (type D cutting) to boost quality production in the district.  

//Cue in: “Mu phase eno……………   

Cue out:…………bwe buggagga.”//      

Richard Kalanzi, the Kabira LCIII Chairperson, told URN that much as the coffee law was made to improve the coffee sector, the government, through the Uganda Coffee Development Authority UCDA, should support farmers more than before.   

He appealed to the government to help revive the defunct coffee hullers and encourage new ones in the district for value addition.   He adds that the leaders have a responsibility to lobby and encourage farmers to plant and look after the seedlings for their benefit. 

  //Cue in: “Emwanyi zibadde………   

Cue out:………emwanyi za elite.”//   

Regina Nakalyango, a coffee farmer in Kabira sub-county, says production had declined over the years but it can be revived if the farmers follow the UCDA guidelines, with regular district supervision and government support.

She adds that some farmers compromise the quality of coffee through poor storage, harvesting premature coffee, and others dry the coffee on the ground.   She explains that they needed someone and policy to help boost their morale every season to benefit from the cash crop.   

//Cue in: “Emwanyi zibadde………   

Cue out:………emwanyi za elite.”//   

According to Irene Lugumya, a small-holder farmer in Kalisizo town council, the law scared most of the farmers since it was passed without engaging them to understand its actual motive.   

She says that with or without the coffee law there are still challenges that need to be addressed especially in rural areas such as improving on value addition, fertilizers and storage facilities.  

President Yoweri Museveni signed the Coffee Bill into law on August 31, 2021. It was later gazetted under supplement Act No. 17 on September 13, 2021. 

It is purposed to facilitate a competitive, participatory and sustainable coffee sub-sector in accordance with the National Coffee Policy, 2013; to enable the UCDA to regulate, promote and oversee the coffee sub-sector; in addition to regulating on-farm and off-farm activities in the coffee value chain.

END

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