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Museveni Refers Coffee Bill Back To Parliament

The Bill if passed into law will allow UCDA/Government to register farmers

President Yoweri Museveni has declined to sign into law the controversial National Coffee Bill 2018.

The President returned the Bill to Parliament to  review some of the sections in the Bill.

The National Coffee Bill, 2018 was passed by Parliament sitting on Wednesday 5 August 2020. The Bill aims to repealsand replace the Uganda Coffee Development Authority Act, Cap. 325, which was enacted in 1991 and only covered off-farm activities of marketing and processing, leaving on-farm activities like planting materials, nurseries, harvesting and post harvesting handling outside the scope of the law.

Museveni in his letter read by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga  wants Parliament to review Clause 14 of the Bill that talks about the appointment of the board of Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), appointment of the Board Chairperson of UCDA ands its Executive Director. The Bill only allows two farmers, who are determined by the Minister to sit on the board.

The president also wants parliament to review clause 26 which talks about the registration of a coffee farmer.

 It should be noted that Parliament rejected a clause to de-register coffee farmers who fail to meet standards set by Government.

According to the Bill, registration of farmers will be free and each registered farmer will be given an identification number.

He also wants review on the issuance of certificates of registration to the coffee nursery operators or coffee seed garden operators.

The speaker has asked the Minister of Agriculture, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja to retable the Bill so that the relevant Committee can review it.

Specific details on what the President wants included or excluded in the Bill remain scanty.

If passed into law, the Bill will help in comprehensive planning for coffee farmers when it comes to linking buyers and farmers, setting up irrigation systems, provision of planting materials and extension services.

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

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