OWC Distributes Coffee Seedlings in Rukiga

Friday, September 29, 2023

Rukiga District | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The General Manager of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority for Southwestern Uganda, Jimmy Baluku, has challenged coffee farmers in Kigezi Sub-region to prioritize adding value to their coffee in order to meet the international market standards.

Baluku made this plea yesterday during a significant event where 2 million coffee seedlings were distributed to farmers in Rukiga District in Nyabuyungu Village, Kibanda Parish, Kamwezi Sub-county. These seedlings are owned by Kigezi Farmers Transformation Initiative.

Highlighting the magnitude of coffee farming in Uganda, Baluku emphasized that the country boasts more than 1.7 million coffee farmers, providing employment for approximately 5 million Ugandans across the entire coffee value chain.

Baluku unveiled that Uganda is a major player in the global coffee industry, exporting a staggering 6.25 million bags of coffee, generating revenue amounting to $790 million. Uganda’s position in the coffee world is remarkable, ranking second in Africa, just behind Ethiopia, and eighth globally.

Baluku also shed light on the global coffee demand-supply dynamics. He explained that worldwide coffee demand stands at 178.5 million 60-kilogram bags, while production currently hovers at 165.5 million bags. This deficit amounts to around 10 million 60-kilogram bags. Baluku revealed that the distribution of these 2 million coffee seedlings to local residents has the potential to contribute 67 bags of 60-kilogram coffee each to the national coffee exports. This could result in the production of 4 million kilograms and a staggering 6 billion Ugandan Shillings in earnings for farmers in Rukiga.

Baluku passionately stressed the importance of coffee farming for the entire Kigezi Sub-region and the nation as a whole, urging farmers to unite their efforts to increase coffee production and actively participate in the thriving coffee economy.

Dr. Sylivia Arineitwe, the Director of the Kigezi Farmers Transformation Initiative and a hopeful candidate for the Woman Member of Parliament in Rukiga District, revealed that she successfully lobbied for these coffee seedlings from Operation Wealth Creation. Her vision is to ensure that every household in the entire district receives these seedlings, thus enabling them to become part of the burgeoning Coffee Money economy.

Addressing the gathering as the guest of honor, Col. Joram Basheija, the Director of Operational Wealth Creation for the Western Region, expressed optimism that the adoption of coffee cultivation by residents would lead to poverty alleviation. He pledged unwavering government support to ensure the success of this initiative and its positive impact on the district’s residents.


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