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Government launches big Arabica Coffee growing campaign in Rukiga

Officials at one of the Arabica Coffee seed bed in Kamwezi sub county (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya) / URN

Rukiga, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government has launched a big Arabica Coffee growing campaign in Rukiga district.

With the population of over 100,726 people, the district that was curved from Kabale district on July 1, 2017 comprises of Kamwezi sub-county with 6,287 households, Kashambya 5,929, Bukinda 2,228, Rwaucucu 5,490, Muhanga town council 2,766, and Mparo town council 906 households, according to the latest records from the office of the Chief Administrative Officer and Physical Planning Department.

However, the majority of locals depend on subsistence farming which has led them to remain poor.

Speaking during the launch of the campaign in the district at Nyabunyungu village, Kibanda parish, Kamwezi sub county on Thursday afternoon, Jimmy Baluku, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) Manager in charge of Kigezi and Ankole regions said that the government, Rukiga district local government has partnered with willing farmers in the district under their Umbrella “Kigezi Farmers’ Transformation Initiatives”. He said the group has already prepared two million Coffee seedlings ready for transplanting.

Baluku said that the ready seedlings are already analyzed and approved by agriculture experts to be at 50 percent quality whereas the rest of the quality will be determined by weather, soils and care after transplant.

Baluku said that in case the mission registers a success, it will increase the number of available 1.7 million coffee farmers in Uganda thus boosting income and employment opportunities. He adds that Uganda currently exports 60 kilograms million bags of Coffee per year which makes it earn about USD 790 Million.

Slyiva Arineitwe Mwanaki , chairperson for Kigezi Farmers’ Transformation Initiatives said that the association members started an initiative of coffee growing after realizing that Rukiga district has no major cash crop to create income and farmers only depend on subsistence farming.

Robert Mbabazi Kakwererere , Rukiga District LC5 Chairman said that the district will now embark on sensitizing farmers to replace eucalyptus trees with Coffee plants. They say that by the memorandum of understanding with the district and guidance of Operation Wealth Creation, interested farmers will be getting Coffee seedlings for planting from the association at no cost.

Ambrose Byarugaba , a farmer and Nyabunyungu village LC1 Chairman and Teddyson Niwagaba, Kamwezi sub county LC3 Chairman welcomed the campaign saying that it is timely since the government has already constructed a coffee huller in the district to improve value addition.

Retired Colonel Joram Basheija, the OWC Director in charge of the western region said that OWC is very ready to guide the program to progress and help farmers in the district eradicate poverty.