Agriculture

Coffee Research Institute Opposes New Bill

National Coffee Research Institute has disagreed with the government plan to regulate coffee growing in the country.

Officials of the institute said at Parliament on Thursday that the impending National Coffee Bill meant to among others register coffee farmers is unfavorable and Member s of Parliament should not support it.

The Director of Research at National Coffee Research Institute, Geoffery Arinaitwe appeared before the Parliament’s Agriculture committee to give views on the Bill, which has already been criticized by some stakeholders.

They told the committee chaired by Janet Okoriemoe of Abim district that the clause concerning the registration of coffee farmers has complicated the Bill andrisks discouraging small scale farmers.

“The registrations put small scale farmers at disadvantage since it only considers those with large numbers of coffee trees. There are farmers with only 10 coffee trees,” said Arinaitwe.

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He added that another proposal of referring farmers with grievances to appeal to the Minister of Agriculture is unfeasible since small farmers in rural areas even don’t know where the Minister sits,” he added.

According to Arinaitwe, the Bill should aim at encouraging farmers to join cooperatives to enjoy the associated benefits of training and others.

The group however welcomed the zoning clause noting that different parts of the country have different coffee types that is suitable for the particular region.

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Meanwhile the legal counsel at National Agricultural Research Organization, Timothy Kakembo said that the bill is silent on branding and coffee from Uganda are being branded and owned in other countries.

“The Bill did not make mention of branding. In markets like South Korea, Ugandan coffee is being branded as Kenyan since the dealers are from Kenya. There should be a deliberate effort to address it,” said Kakembo.

 

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