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UCDA – Annual Stakeholders Meeting of the Coffee Production Campaign held at Hotel Africana

Uganda

KAMPALA, Uganda – The Seventh Annual Stakeholders Meeting of UCDA ‘s Coffee Production Campaign was held at Hotel Africana, Kampala, on 14th November 2013. The initiative was launched in June-September 2006 by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) in conjunction with public and private stakeholders.

It has 4 thematic areas: Research; Extension; Inputs & Credit; and Farmer Organizations.

The Ministry of Agriculture has endorsed the campaign.

The well attended meeting was addressed by a number of dignitaries who included the MP for Kalungu East, Hon. Vincent Bamulanzeki Ssempijja who was the Chief Guest, Mr. Henry Ngabirano, MD UCDA, Mr. David Barry, MD Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd. and President, Uganda Coffee Federation (UCF), Mr. Francis Chesang, UCDA Production Manager and Chairman, Steering Committee of the Coffee Production Campaign, Mr. Andrew McKim from the Feed the Future USAID funded project, Mr. Henry Opolot from the Ministry of Agriculture; Dr. Wagoire of the newly transformed National Coffee Research Institute, Mrs. Jane Magombe, Chairperson, International Women in Coffee Alliance (IWCA), Uganda Chapter and Mr. Tony Mugoya, the Executive Secretary, Uganda Coffee Farmers Alliance (UCFA).

They delivered thrilling and topical presentations followed by discussions. These were followed by a lively panel discussion on sustainability which comprised the UCDA MD, MD, Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd and officials from 4 Cs and UTZ.

The meeting was also addressed by Dr. Manuel Diaz, a Quality Consultant who was in Uganda at the time to guide UCDA in the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Robusta Coffee in Uganda.

The topics presented and discussed were:

  • Insights on the World Coffee Market Development
  • Overview of the Current Policy Framework and ‘Coffee and Health’
  • Overview of the Coffee Production Campaign
  • The New USAID Feed the Future Programme
  • MAAIF’s Single Spine Extension System
  • Transition from COREC to NaCORI
  • Panel Discussion on sustainability and certification in Uganda
  • IITA fertilizer research in coffee in Uganda
  • UCFA new mobile technology in the coffee sub-sector
  • Youth Education in agriculture-HRNS initiative
  • Gender Approaches in coffee

Coffee Shows and their impact on farmers’ uptake. These were crowned by prize giving with Ntungamo Coffee Platform scooping the overall trophy as the best coffee show.

A number of critical issues affecting the coffee sub-sector and the topical areas stakeholders were identified as critical in actualizing the campaign’s vision of achieving 4.5 million bags per year by 2015.

In his presentation on the ‘Overview of the Current Policy Framework and ‘Coffee and Health’, the UCDA MD, Mr. Henry Ngabirano gave a justification as to why a coffee policy was important, its vision, mission, strategic objectives and the different key players who would implement this policy.

He reported that Cabinet had approved the National Coffee Policy (NCP) and that it would be launched that day. He mentioned that UCDA had developed a draft National Coffee Strategy to operationalize the NCP and indicated that it would be discussed by a wider forum.

On coffee and health, the MD demystified the myths about coffee citing health benefits of coffee drinking-as an antioxidant, as a social experience as trendy. He illustrated the buoyant growth in global coffee consumption and appealed to the stakeholders especially the medical professionals to appreciate the scientifically proven health benefits of drinking coffee.

He listed a number of diseases whose incidences were reduced by coffee: Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer Disease and Liver related diseases as well as risk of committing suicide.

In his conclusion, he assured stakeholders that the National Coffee Strategy will be implemented in line with national policy and institutional frameworks, NaCORI will be strengthened (human, facilities and infrastructure) as well as to spearhead the Domestic Coffee Consumption Strategy with emphasis on information dissemination on health benefits of drinking coffee.

At the end of the meeting, stakeholders had identified critical areas of focus which the Steering Committee of the Coffee Production Campaign would synthesize and concretize into planned outputs for Coffee Year 8 of the Coffee Production Campaign.