Speaking during a media briefing at the Kampala Serena Hotel Minister of State for Fisheries Hon. Ruth Nakanbirwa revealed that African Heads of state resolved to increase funding to the Agricultural sector.
Ministers of Agriculture from across the African continent who were meeting during the 54th Inter Africa coffee Organisation summit held in Kampala made a commitment to increase budgetary funding towards the Agricultural sector.
Minister Nakanbirwa revealed that the African coffee sector faces several challenges including new diseases that attack coffee. “Apart from the coffee wilt disease there are new diseases coming up” Nankabirwa stated.
She added that African coffee sector continues to grapple with lack of drugs. “There is a lot of adulteration of the drugs and agro-chemicals in Uganda and this is seriously hampering coffee production” Nakanbirwa noted.
Nakanbirwa revealed that ministry of Agriculture would get an enforcement police before December 2015 to crack down on all drug and agro-chemical adulterers.
Since 2012 Uganda has been producing four million bags at 60 kgs per bag. According to Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) Executive Director Henry Ngabirano revealed that Uganda exported 3.6 million bags in 2012 while in 2013 over 3.5 million bags were exported and hopes in 2014 the exports will double.
“We hope that coffee exports in 2014 will double because production increasing” Ngabirano noted.
The biggest importer of Ugandan coffee is the European Union which accounts for 70 percent and the Spain is the highest importer of Ugandan coffee internationally while Sudan is the highest importer of Ugandan coffee on the African continent.
Although the agriculture sector has a Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP), its implementation has been hampered by inadequate funding and poor linkage between Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) headquarters and Local Governments (LGs). For instance, in Financial Year 2012/13 the sector received Shs 379.04 billion compared to Shs 559.6 billion projected in the DSIP, thus leading to a funding gap of Shs 180.6 billion though in the 2014/15 budget there was an increase of Shs.440.7bn