President Yoweri Museveni has warned the Buganda Kingdom Katikkiro to stop spreading lies about the contentions Coffee Bill 2018.
Museveni sounded the warning on Thursday while speaking to journalists at State House Nakasero days after Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga criticized a proposal for the registration and licensing of coffee farmers as embedded in the National Coffee Bill currently before parliament.
“There is no licence, i had this Katikkiro was telling lies…but i sent a message to somebody that he should stop that nonsense,” Museveni said.
The bill proposes the registration of farmers capturing details of the size of land, the number of coffee trees and particulars of the farmers, coffee buyers and sellers among others. The bill also proposes that land, where the coffee is to be grown shall be evaluated by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority to determine its suitability for coffee growing.
During the Monday Lukikko (Buganda Kingdom parliament), Mayiga said that the conditions are likely to suffocate the coffee industry and the Kingdom’s drive to encourage coffee production under an initiative locally known as ‘Emwanyi Terimba’.
“I am scared. This issue should be handled with care and we shall continue to offer guidance. I guess from coffee farmer’s, the government will now legislate herdsmen and how they should or shouldn’t handle their cattle and other products,” Mayiga said.
However, the president explained that the reason for registering is because of the need to export the cash crop.
“The reason for registering is because of exporting, if you dont show trace-ability, they will not buy your coffee,” Museveni clarified.
According to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority- UCDA board, the proposed registration of the farmers is meant to eliminate middlemen and guarantee the development of the coffee sector in the country.
UCDA statistics reveal that, Uganda’s Coffee exports in March 2018 amounted to 333,346 60-kilo bags worth USD 35.74 million. This comprised 224,036 bags worth USD 21 million of Robusta and 109,310 bags worth USD 13.88 million of Arabica coffee.