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Gov’t Issues New Guidelines For Coffee Farmers, Nursery Operators

The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has issued new guidelines for coffee farmers and nursery operators aimed at achieving the 20 million bags per year target come 2025.

Below is a statement from government;

Since FY 2014/15, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), through Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), District Local Governments and Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) has been implementing a coffee replanting programme. The objective of the programme was to raise, distribute and plant 300 million coffee seedlings per year and thereby contribute to attainment of 20 million bags per year target envisioned in the coffee roadmap recently launched by H.E the President of Uganda. In the last 4 years, close to 800 million coffee seedlings have been raised and planted by farmers.
Therefore, starting with the second planting season of September-November 2019, the Ministry will start scaling down the production and distribution of elite Robusta coffee seedlings to farmers. However, the promotion of multiplication of coffee wilt disease resistant (CWDR) clonal cuttings through establishment of mother gardens will continue.
Therefore, I wish to guide the coffee sub-sector as follows:
(1) All coffee nursery operators with elite Robusta coffee seedlings should, with immediate effect, scale down seedlings production so as not to have any carry over stock expected to be procured under Government funding after the 2nd season of 2019 (i.e September-November 2019 planting season).
(2) No certificate will be issued to a new elite Robusta coffee nursery, except to operators in drought prone districts in Northern Uganda and parts of North Eastern and Eastern Uganda.
(3) Production of coffee seedlings in the Arabica coffee growing districts, in limited quantities, shall continue but under strict guidance from UCDA.
(4) Coffee nursery operators who wish to plant their already raised coffee seedlings in their gardens before the end of the second season of 2019 are free to do so as long as verification by UCDA and District Local Government officials confirms the coffee garden`s suitability and preparedness. The planted seedlings shall be recorded and verified by UCDA, District Local Governments and OWC.
(5) Propagation of coffee wilt disease resistant plantlets (clonal cuttings), in Robusta coffee growing areas, shall continue and be scaled up, but under strict guidance from UCDA.
(6) Only mature and quality coffee seedlings (elite and clonal) which will have been certified and are available before the end of 2nd planting season of 2019 will be procured by UCDA on credit and shall be paid for in the medium term as funds become available.
(7) After the 2nd season of 2019, the Government shall redirect the support towards coffee productivity enhancement programmes such as coffee rehabilitation (stumping), soil-fertility management, farmer training in good agronomic practices and provision of water for production.
(8) Farmers in robusta coffee growing areas who may wish to plant the old clonal coffee lines (A,B,C,D,F and H) may continue to do so at their own cost but under guidance of NaCORI and UCDA.
(9) Coffee seed gardens shall continue to be verified by NaCORI and UCDA on behalf of MAAIF and any nursery operator that may wish to privately engage in elite coffee seedlings production must first get clearance from UCDA.

Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja (MP)
Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries

Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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