October 19, 2006
By www.andnetwork .com
THE coffee industry in Uganda will receive a $6.5 million (about Shs12 billion) boost from the United States Agency for International Development, a top official has said.
The support, that includes direct grants and strengthening of producer organisations, technical staff, training, depot committees and input suppliers, will be spent over the five-year programme through the Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Programme (APEP).
Usaid's Mission Director Margot Ellis said on October 13 that the move is part of Usaid's mission to partner with the government to improve the coffee industry and overcome the challenges that coffee wilt disease is currently posing to the industry.
“We believe that the best way to reverse the trends in the coffee industry is to increase productivity and quality at the farm level,” Ellis said.
“Although we know that profits are down, the only way to increase those profits is if more and better quality coffee can be produced at the farmer level. This will take some investment.”
Ellis was handing over equipment and inputs worth over Shs135 million to coffee farmer groups at the APEP offices on Lumumba Avenue, Kampala.
The farmer groups include Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd. OLAM, Kapchorwa Coffee Farmers Association and Bushenyi cooperatives among others.
APEP's Managing Director Clive Drew, said the equipment is part of their continued support to farmers to promote increase of productivity and quality of coffee.
USAID is currently operating in the districts of Kamuli, Masaka, Rakai, Bushenyi, Ibanda and Mubende and will roll out to other districts such as Nakaseke, Mukono, Mbale, Sironko, Kapchorwa, Arua and Nebbi.
originally posted on Africa's Daily Monitor October 19, 2006