Private and public actors in the coffee sub-sector are grappling with the challenge of boosting production and productivity of Uganda’s most lucrative cash crop as a way of fighting household poverty.
Much as coffee plays a key integral part in building the country’s economy, its exportable volumes have been stuck at three million bags every year for the last four decades, a challenge that calls for strategic interventions to enable the sector produce more volumes.
Banyankore Kweterana Cooperative Union (BKCU) Ltd has been ranked among the best performing unions in Uganda, having processed and exported 43 containers (825.6 metric tonnes) of coffee in the financial year 2014/2015.
The new tonnage surpasses the target of 31 containers (595.2 metric tonnes).
The chairman of the BKCU Board of Directors, Mr Geoffrey Beingana, disclosed the new figures at the 44th annual general meeting at the union head office in Kakoba Division, Mbarara Municipality last Friday.
Drinking four or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily may significantly reduce the chance that colon cancer will return in patients who were diagnosed with stage III of the disease, a study said Monday.
The study involved about 1,000 patients, all of whom had undergone surgery and chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer.
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston found that the greatest benefit was seen in those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day, for about 460 milligrams of caffeine.
Uganda's coffee is still leading in Africa, an indication that there is an assured international market for the country's top income earner.
To maintain the market, there is need promote value chains in coffee to encourage the youth to tap into the value chain and export more coffee products.
Many Ugandans are opposed to the idea of farmers repeatedly buying seeds to plant. It is one of their main reasons for opposing biotechnology products—hybrid seed, bio-fortified beans, bio-fortified sweet potato vines, tissue-culture banana plantlets —to mention but a few. "The farmers should be spared the burden of purchasing seed and instead encouraged to save seed from their previous harvests," many say.
According to a document, Science-Based Improvements of Rural/Subsistence Agriculture, prepared by Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf), Africa's crop production is the lowest in the world at 1.7 tonnes per hectare compared to 4.0 tonnes per hectare, which is the global average.