Kasese 19th July, 2012… Hima cement has initiated a monitoring and evaluation system for its coffee project through regular senior management visits to nursery beds and farmer gardens to ensure proper implementation by the various partner farmer groups.
The quarterly visits and stakeholder meetings will enable farmers share experiences and challenges faced by farmers which will result in an early warning and support system customized for the success of the project in kasese and Kamwenge districts.
“We are closely monitoring the Hima Coffee project to ensure improved quality and efficiency of nursery bed operators, but also encourage the farmers to take good care of their farms so that they can benefit from this project,” said Magdalene Mwende, the Lafarge Industrial ecology Manager.
“We are indeed concerned about the future of coffee growing in this region, and therefore we have to empower farmers through such projects so that they can attain financial stability, improve their livelihoods, and that of their families and community”.
Mwende made these remarks while visiting the Kasese District Farmers Organization (KADIFA) nurseries, together with other officials from the Lafarge group.
“We understand that there are several challenges within the agricultural sector today- climate change, fluctuating prices as well as pests and diseases are challenges farmers face every now and then, and we as stakeholder in this project must actively take part in addressing these challenges so that we can achieve our main objective of improving livelihoods”, added Mwende.
Approximately 60,000 households in Kasese alone depend on coffee growing as their main source of income, and yet majority of these farmers struggle to earn a sustainable livelihood because of the weakening cycle of the market disadvantages and poverty. The 2 billion project launched by Hima early this year will see up to 14,200,000 seedlings distributed to 45,000 small holder farmers within Kasese and Kamwenge districts, with a major aim of improving their household income, and creating employment opportunities for the local population.
“As nursery operators and key stakeholders, we would like to applaud Hima for their continued efforts to ensure that this project succeeds as planned”, said Kipura Zaloti, coordinator of KADIFA.
“It is a clear sign to us that they not only dumped funds to the project, but are also ready to work closely with the farmers to ensure they get good yields.”
Other partners include Uganda Coffee Development Authority, Kamwenge and Kasese District Local Governments, Kamwenge District Farmers Organization (KADIFO), Bukonzo Farmers Organization and KADIFA.