On July 5, 2017 Uganda Coffee Development Authority and Uganda Cooperative Alliance signed a Memorandum of Understanding in a bid to boost coffee production countrywide. “We are excited to be partnering with Uganda Cooperative Alliance,” said Dr Emmanuel Iyamulemye Niyibigira, the Managing Director of UCDA. “We believe that through this collaboration we will strengthen farmers through recruiting farmer organisations, cooperatives and associations across the country.”
According to Dr Iyamulemye the partnership with Uganda Cooperative Alliance is in line with the Coffee Roadmap that was recently launched by H.E. the President, which aims at increasing coffee production from 4 million bags to 20 million bags in 2025.
“It will help to train farmers in leadership and business development, and facilitate the distribution of inputs, provision of water for irrigation, access to finance including credit and risk management, advocacy, collective marketing as well as community mobilisation,” added Dr Iyamulemye.
The goal of the memorandum of understanding is to have all farmers join farmer organisations that provide members with services required to drive farmer production and productivity and to make the organisations self-sustaining entities. Service delivery to organised farmer groups will be direct.
“This is a big achievement for the cooperative sector,” remarked Ivan Asiimwe, the Executive Secretary of Uganda Cooperative Alliance. “We have been in business since 1961 working with many farmer organisations including coffee ones but have not achieved a lot.” He added that their main challenges were quality, finance, access to inputs and production but is optimistic that the union with UCDA will solve them. “This is a very good marriage and we will achieve a lot,” he said. Both organisations are committed to putting the MoU into action for the betterment of all coffee farmers and the country.