Museveni urges farmers to add value to coffee

President Museveni has tasked coffee farmers with adding value to fight poverty.

Museveni, who visited the Inspire Africa Group industrial center in Ntungamo district on Tuesday, said some people are against government support for the latter Nelson Tugume-owned organisation, but he insisted on supporting them to add value to coffee.

He said Tugume, CEO of Inspire Africa, is helping Africa realize the importance of value addition and stopping the exploitation of coffee farmers.

“The global value of the coffee business is 460 billion dollars. Of the $460 billion, the coffee producing countries of the world in Africa, Asia and Latin America, all together… and Africa takes only $2.5 billion,” Museveni said.

He said it is surprising that a country like Germany, which is not known for growing coffee, makes $65 billion from coffee.

“Germany, a non-coffee producing country, makes more money from coffee than all the countries in the world. This is a hemorrhage of value because a very good type of coffee sells for $2.5 per kilo,” Museveni said.

He added: “I can get $2.5 per kilo, but with some processing. But not only do you get less money, you also lose out on other support services because those jobs are done by other people; roasting, grinding, packaging… transportation.”

Museveni said the government is now focusing on adding value to coffee.

“We have taken care of milk and now we take care of coffee. We are going to deal with bananas and also minerals, we are going to deal with all sectors within Uganda, but…Uganda will act as an example for the rest of Africa,” she said.

Museveni added: “Across Africa, our total GDP is now $3.5 trillion. The United States is like $20 trillion. Africa should have a total of $50 trillion, not $3.5 trillion.”

According to him, the battle for coffee is to stop the bleeding because Africa has been bleeding for a long time.

In Uganda when you export raw coffee you get $2.5, and when you export to countries like Japan that don’t produce coffee, they process it and get $40, which is unfair,” he said, adding that there will be a united front to add value. . to Uganda Coffee, which he called Chapter One.

The President also promised to support the factory, whose construction is at 60 percent, with the necessary materials so that it is finished on time.

“Tugume was telling me what it takes to complete it and I am going to support him,” Museveni promised.
He also warned those who threaten coffee farmers that they should tread carefully because he will “take care of them.”

On the other hand, President Museveni encouraged Ntungamo residents to unite, support and work with Mr Tugume if they want the factory to improve their economy and that of the country.

Ms. Monica Musenero, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, praised the President for inspecting the progress of the project.
“Your Excellency, I hope I am doing the work that you sent me and I hope that you will give me your opinion,” Dr. Musenero said.

Tugume also thanked the President for believing in him and other coffee farmers even when the dream of setting up a coffee factory seemed impossible.
“Your Excellency, we are at war with many people, some people think we are taking away their lunch,” Mr. Tugume said.

He implored the Ntungamo people to support the factory, adding that it would benefit them with employment opportunities and improve their livelihoods.
The factory visit was witnessed by ministers, members of Parliament, Ntungamo district leaders, coffee farmers and religious leaders.

Since 2023, the government has been investing in the coffee value chain through the Coffee Investment Consortium Uganda (CICU) to increase coffee export earnings, create employment opportunities and increase farmgate prices.

CICU is a consortium that unites coffee stakeholders in the country to add value to coffee and promote the export of value-added coffee from Uganda as single origin.
In the financial year 2023/2024, the Government of Uganda allocated resources through the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (SCI) under the Office of the President for the establishment of a modern coffee industrial park in Rwashamaire Town Council, District of Ntungamo.

Construction work, which began in October 2023, is at 60 percent and will be completed in December 2024. Once completed, the park will produce instant coffee, drip coffee, malt coffee, coffee energy drink and beauty cosmetics of coffee.
In the long term, the value chain will increase Uganda’s coffee income from the current $1 billion to $4 billion.