The 9th Annual Stakeholders’ Meeting (ASHM) was held on 28th January 2016 at Hotel Africana. The ASHM which also marked 10 years since the coffee production campaign was launched in 2006 to revamp coffee production was well attended. The coffee production campaign hinges on 4 thematic areas: Research; Extension; Inputs & Credit and Farmer Organizations. Different exhibitors showcased their products and services. The ASHM was opened by Mr. Francis Chesang, Director Development, UCDA, who emphasized that the focus of the 9th ASHM was to launch the National Coffee Strategy to operationalize the National Coffee Policy approved and launched in August and December 2013, respectively.
The ASHM was organized into 3 sessions. The first dwelt on the global market review presented by Mr. David Barry, Managing Director, Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd. It highlighted the global market development and projections for growth especially from the major drivers of the global coffee market (Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia) as well as the global price trends. Global production for CY 2015/16 was estimated at 150.0 million bags up from 144.6 million bags in CY 2014/15. Mr. Barry indicated how deep global coffee prices had dipped. He was also uncertain how the low oil prices would affect the global coffee market. Hedge funds were crucial in providing adequate liquidity in the future market. He also noted reducing arbitrage between Arabica and Robusta due to increasing Robusta exports. He hinted on the acceleration of growth of Arabica exports which reflects the growth of more efficient processing in Uganda. He decried the reducing African market share of the global coffee production pegging it at only 10% currently compared to 33% in 1971/72.
This was followed by an overview of the mandate of the national coffee platform and the achievements in 2015 and plans for 2016 presented by Mr. Francis Chesang. Industry participants also shared their activities during the year which included:
• Shade trees by IITA: compatible shade trees by region.
• Coffee census by UCDA – a proposed joint project with UBOS and MAAIF.
• Lifting gender constraints to sustainable intensification in coffee production: IITA
• CURAD/ NUCAFE: on youth entrepreneur incubation project formed by Makerere University / NARO and NUCAFE
• Smart Money a „last-mile‟ payment solution building eco-systems and trust within communities.
Other achievements of the National Coffee Platform included:
• Successful Annual Coffee Show Schedule 2015: highest number of shows held – 32 districts – more than 37,000 attendees.
• Coffee platform recognized as a benchmark for other commodity platforms
• Distribution of harmonized coffee extension materials
• A District Coffee Extension Pilot project by Café Africa Uganda: practical training of 180-coffee specific agronomists in 6-pilot districts based on the harmonized extension materials
• Kamuli, Mayuge, Mityana, Luwero, Ibanda and Isingiro
• Extension videos produced and distributed
• Participation in Office of the Prime Minister Delivery Unit workshop
Mr. Chesang concluded by informing the meeting of the NCP plans for 2016 which are:
• To adopt the National Coffee Strategy
• To revise the platform Terms of Reference to review existing structure, membership, roles and responsibilities to re-energize the coffee platform in line with the National Coffee Strategy
• To improve linkages between NSC and the DCPs.
National Coffee Strategy
A presentation on the National Coffee Strategy (NCS) was made by Mr. Norman Mutekanga, UCDA Director, Strategy and Business Development in which he highlighted the objective of the NCS, status of implementation, targets and the challenges therein. He submitted that the NCS was approved in October 2015 and the entire strategy development was sponsored by USAID EEA. He reported political will where the Ugandan government earmarked coffee as a strategic commodity and had committed and still committing funds to the sub-sector development
The estimated cost of the NCS implementation is UGX 1.074 trillion over 5 years from 2015/16-2019/20.
Mr. Mutekanga emphasized enormous opportunity in the market as global coffee consumption is growing at a rate faster than the population growth rate, and that more companies are using Robusta in their blends.
He hinted on climate change which will impact negatively on production. He also reported on other countries in Africa such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan and Southern Africa which are now interested in coffee growing.
He concluded his presentation by encouraging the audience to focus on niche markets as a shield from price volatility.
The second session also chaired by Tony Mugoya, Executive Director, Uganda Coffee Farmers Association dwelt on the national coffee research agenda; Centre of Robusta Excellence (CORE); International Coffee Day; Women in Coffee and Youth in Coffee. Below were the highlights of the presentations.
Highlights of the National Coffee Research Agenda
Dr. Godfrey H. Kagezi (PhD), Senior Research Officer/Entomologist, NaCORI presented an overview of the mandate of NaCORI, its role in the coffee sub-sector and the current research activities. These were the highlights of his presentation:
One of the major challenges is developing resistant coffee varieties that have the desired market quality traits.
He outlined progress on research in several areas:
Robusta coffee breeding: there are 43 new CWD-r lines undergoing evaluaion
Arabica coffee breeding: 3 promising lines are being evaluated on farm. They have higher yields and better cup quality
Coffee Entomology : Red colored alcohol-baited traps placed at lower third of the canopy most effective for catching adult BCTB.
Coffee Pathology : NACORI is developing a prototype farmer-friendly kit for quick identification of CWD pathogen for soils & planting materials
Coffee agroforestry systems: site-specific shade tree species have been identified and recommended to farmers
Seed systems : NACORI generated and disseminated 38,114 plantlets (tissue culture) and 29,515 (nodal cuttings) of 7 CWD-r varieties
• NACORI has continuously carried out capacity building at Masters level, Phd, extension workers and farmers.
• They are currently working with Reticia Products to test a pesticide for managing BCTB.
• He concluded by informing the meeting that plans for 2015/2016 include further development of varieties, refinement of IPM packages for BCTB and CWD enhancing the use if available technology.
Centre of Robusta Excellence (CORE) project was presented by Mr. Edmund Kananura, UCDA Director of Quality and Regulatory Services. In his presentation he gave an overview of the mandate of CORE and the current activities. These included:
Vision: To create a Sustainable Robusta Coffee Value Chain through development of technology, innovations and promotion of best practices along the coffee value chain.
Mission: To explore best practices in coffee, conduct specific research, provide accurate information and carry out demonstration activities with the view of improving household income and creating a coffee culture.
CORE is operating three regional centres with fully equipped laboratories, information centre and offers extension services through 30 micro centres each with 3 demo trials and 3 farmer groups of 25-30 members in 40 coffee growing districts
Profiling of Uganda Robusta coffee whereby 421 samples were analyzed for physical and sensory characteristics.
In partnership with the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI, USA), 30 R graders and 2 R instructors had been trained and certified.
Efforts have been made to enhance market linkage with coffee buyers and roasters through participation in exhibitions: AFCA, SCAA, SCAE and Korea.
He concluded by saying that the expected impacts of this initiative will be 20% of Uganda’s Robusta exported as fine coffee as well as improved productivity and household income from coffee.
International Coffee Day
Betty Namwagala, Executive Director, UCF presented an overview of the Uganda Coffee day celebrations organized by UCF. She outlined where national coffee days had been organized right from 2010 to date: Agro Generic Technologies (AGT) laboratory, Buloba with focus on the tissue culture and how to multiply varieties; Nakanyonyi Coffee Centre with focus on multiplication of the 7 coffee Wilt resistant lines (PPP); NaCORI, Mukono under the theme of trade and marketing coffee in Uganda and strategies for the next century; Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MUZARDI) with focus on emergence of BCTB as a new threat to coffee production; Maya Coffee Village with a focus on the Youth in Coffee and the gender role in the coffee value chain. The last one was held at
Great Lakes Agricultural Development Farm (GLAD Farm) in Kapeeka Nakaseke in 2015 with focus on production and productivity, with climate change at the front line.
The International Coffee Day was adopted on 1st October 2015 with an objective to celebrate diversity, quality and passion to promote fair trade coffee and raise awareness.
Ms. Namwagala concluded by urging the audience to look into the future to increase coffee production and farmers income, exports, improving quality of coffee, promoting domestic coffee consumption, supporting the value chain through machinery and equipment.
Women in Coffee
The presentation was made by Ms. Phyllis Chesimol, IWCA who hinged on the role of women in the coffee production and marketing agenda 2020 and the benefits that would accrue from empowering these women. Below were the highlights of her presentation.
• In Uganda women provide more than 70% of the labour force in the coffee industry.
• Uganda is transforming into a middle class economy and women will have to transform together with their male counterparts
Women should be supported in accessing finance, farm inputs, management opportunities and trainings.
• As an outcome of this support, women will be economically independent, domestic violence will reduce and there will be increased food security.
She concluded by saying that by 2020 women will be producing 10% of the targeted 20 million bags of marketed coffee and therefore investing in women is not only correct, but smart.
Youth in Coffee
Mr. Josephat Kaijage, RASA shared his story as a young man who had invested in the coffee sector and is actively involved in production and marketing of coffee liquor. These were the highlights of his presentation:
• A lot of youth are from a coffee growing background; however there is little or no legacy, leading to abandonment of the sector.
• He suggested that the way forward was to support the youth in agriculture value addition.
• He further suggested that incorporating business and technical skills in the norms and culture of society, tailor made packages and pro partnership policies would encourage value addition.
• He emphasized the importance of guidance an mentorship to the youth in business and appreciated the assistance RASA has received from CURAD
• He concluded by encouraging government to create an enabling environment for youth in coffee through subsidies, tax holidays, resource centres and providing equal opportunities for local investors and foreign investors.
Annual District Coffee Show Successes
Mr. Moses Mugume from Café Africa made a presentation highlighting the progress made in the coffee shows. Below is a summary of his presentation:
The theme for the coffee shows in 2015 was “Feeding your coffee plants for sustainable growth.”
32 district coffee shows were attended by 37,000 farmers, an average of 1,500 per show.
There were 515 exhibitors, an average of 16 per show.
The main activities at the show were:
o Women/Youth activities and competitions
o Physical demonstrations and expert advice was made available in demo plots
o Stalls on GAPs post harvesting, processing and marketing
o Coffee drama, poems and songs with focus on women and youth in coffee
o Quiz – this encourages participation of all show goers
o Q and A by extension workers
o Raffle draws (prize giving)
o Interview with farmers using evaluation questionnaires
Women participation in 2015 increased to 45% of total attendance and youth attendance rose to 51% due to the introduction of football tournaments.
Coffee shows received a lot of support from UCDA, aBi Trust, IDH, Solidaridad, USAID EEA, USAID CPM.
The purpose of the coffee shows is to educate farmers on how to improve their coffee growing skills, and to sustainably increase the production of their coffee gardens as well as protecting the environment.
District Steering Committee Successes
Mr. Benon Mwembebezi, Chairman, Kamwenge District Steering Committee (DSC) reported on the successes. These included:
• Increased number of participants in shows from 1027 shows in 2013 when Kamwenge joined the coffee shows to 1385 in 2015.
• 40 nursery operators in 2013 and 70 in 2016.
• He emphasized there is no crop that is as rewarding as coffee where a farmer can receive 5 million shillings per acre.
• He appreciated 3 million seedlings that were recently given to Kabango by UCDA
• He appealed to the government to be part of the coffee shows and to make it as an annual official event in its programs.
• He concluded by posing a question to MAAIF about the delay in recruiting extension workers.
The two sessions were followed by questions and comments from participants as well as responses from the presenters.
Session three hinged on the Chief Guest’s remarks. In his address, the Chief Guest who was the Minister of State for Agriculture, Hon. Vincent Sempijja thanked the stakeholders for their great work especially the improvement in quantity from 2 million bags to 3.5 million bags. He assured stakeholders that efforts will not be in vain since the government has plans to support the coffee industry in research, production and seedlings generation and distribution. He encouraged registration of all farmers in all coffee regions on all platforms as a means of easy way to share information especially about seedlings. He further advised emphasis is placed on water for irrigation and replanting.
He concluded his remarks by noting that coffee is a very good promising crop and that the stakeholders should passionately take care of it to yield good financial returns. He thanked all participants and wished them a great meeting.
A number of prizes were given to best performing districts in coffee shows, best new coffee district and best exhibitor.-
Best District in Coffee Shows
• 1st Place- Hoima District
• 2nd Place- Kamwenge District
• 3rd place –Nebbi district
Best New Coffee District-Oyam
Best Exhibitor-Selama Coffee
The closing remarks were made by Mr. Andrew Kilama Lajul, Board Secretary and Head of Corporate Services, UCDA who represented the Chairman UCDA, Perez Bukumunhe. He thanked everyone for sacrificing valuable time to attend the meeting. He emphasized that if all aspects highlighted under the four pillars of the National Coffee Strategy are addressed, the potential of Uganda coffee to regain its past glory will be realized in the next five years. He reported that Uganda has an opportunity to produce in order to meet the deficit of 30 million bags in 2020 as predicted by the ICO. He assured the participants that government is committed to increasing funding to the coffee sub-sector to cover research, planting materials, extension, agro-inputs usage including fertilizers. He appreciated development partners such as aBi Trust, and USAID Feed the Future as well as individuals and organizations such as Café Africa, Uganda Coffee Federation (UCF), National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI), Uganda Coffee Farmers Alliance, National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) and International Women’s Coffee Alliance Uganda Chapter for the contributions they made in promoting the development of the coffee value chain. He then closed the meeting.