Minister of Agriculture, Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja recently presented a Bill to parliament, that is aimed at regulating coffee production in Uganda.
The bill, now before the parliamentary committee on agriculture has been long called for by various stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
Speaking to press about the 27th National Agricultural Exhibition, the minister said the committee will write to all stakeholders and schedule to meet them to discuss the Bill.
Sempijja says the law once passed, will not only regulate farmers but the entire coffee industry.
“We are not regulating farmers only but the whole coffee industry from on farm to off farm activities. We are going to regulate exporters, transporters, processors and input suppliers,” he said
The law will also require all farmers in the country to be registered, and will prohibit the common activity of harvesting premature coffee.
“If we arrest you picking coffee that is not ready for harvest, the law will take its course,” he said
Currently, Uganda is the world’s 10th biggest grower of coffee, and the leader in Africa.
The minister says however that Ugandan coffee is being branded wrongly in the international market.
The new law he says will ensure proper branding of Ugandan coffee to attract more consumers since it’s one of the best in the world.
“The consumers want to know the origin of coffee they drink. We need to explain to farmers the new dynamics and demands in the market. It is no longer just growing coffee. Consumers set demands which we must meet” he added
About the forthcoming national Agricultural expo that will be officially opened by President Yoweri Museveni in Jinja, Sempijja said countries like Poland, China, Egypt, Germany and Kenya have already confirmed participation.
The expo which is slated for 12th to 21st July 2019 at National Agricultural show grounds in Jinja will bring together Agricultural scientists, small and large scale commercial farmers and also offer a lot of opportunities to the participants and further provide market and share knowledge on how to best harness the power of technology in Agriculture and ensure best outcome for farmer’s produce.