Coffee production in Uganda is projected to grow by 30%in the next five years,following Hima Cement’s initiative to boost coffee growing in Kasese and Kamwenge districts. Although there has been a reported drop in coffee production in Uganda as a result of weather and coffee diseases, coffee is expected to continue being a major source of income for many farmers in Uganda.
“The Hima Cement project is greatly appreciated because it substantiallycontributes to projected growth of coffee production in the region and it will be an important source of income among smallholder farmers in large parts of the country,” said Mr. Henry Ngabirano, the MD, Uganda Coffee Development Authority, while handing over 735Kgs of Robusta coffee to Hima Cement for their ongoing project.
“I am particularly very happy that Hima Cement has taken on the approach of supporting small holder farmers who have one to two acres of land, or even less becauseit gets more farmers involved in coffee growing and thereby improving their household incomes. This will also pull many other related business on board, such as transporters, processors, and many others, thereby increasing employment opportunities.”
Hima Cement signed an MOU with Kasese and Kamwenge districts in collaboration with UCDAin which Hima would supply 14,200,000 coffee seedlings to over 45,000 small holder farmers in order to boost their household incomes and create employment opportunities for the locals.The three year project is valued at UGX 2 billion.
Receiving the seeds at their head office in Kampala, Hima’s General Manager, David Njoroge noted that Hima’s commitment towards boosting agriculture is part of the group’s commitment to re-invest in the communities that support the business through providing labour, buying their products, and also providing a friendly investor environment.
“As a partner in the development of the country, we have always been committed to such public-private partnerships that stimulate economic developmentthrough a deliberate community involvement approach”, said Njoroge.
“Hima is very keen on standards and this is why we shall continue to rely on the expertise of UCDA so that we ensure that the seed we plant is the right quality, and therefore the seedlings to be distributed suit the weather conditions of the target region.”
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.