The program worth 1.53 Billion Ugandan Shillings (UGX) is meant to boost coffee production which in turn increases the quantity of coffee husks used as an alternative fuel for burning clinker at the new line and to improve the livelihoods of households through increased incomes.
Hima will provide 42,000 farmers with around 14.2 million seedlings in three phases. The first phase already started in September- December 2011; the 2nd phase will start in March 2012, and finally the third phase in September 2012.
Speaking at the Hima plant in Kasese, Mr. Allen Mate, the Plant Manager said, "The inadequate supply of this raw material used as an alternative energy source has prompted us to partner with the local farmers to boost coffee growing in the district and hence enable us to easily get the husks from nearby, which in turn reduces on operational costs."
Hima has been using furnace oil to burn raw materials to form the key product clinker; however, due to innovation at the plant, Hima started using coffee and rice husks as alternative fuels which are part of the carbon cycle unlike Heavy fuel oil.
"Under this coffee plan, over the next 3 years in Kasese, we aim to significantly increase the amount of coffee husks bought directly from farmers, and also create subsidiary employment for the local communities," Mate added.
Hima will sign a memorandum of understanding with the farmers and the District Agricultural Department and leaders to clearly stipulate the roles of each party. Farmers will also be committed to sell their produce to a specific huller, where Hima would later buy the husks.
"I am particularly glad that Hima is embarking on enhancing coffee growing within the district," said the district Chairman, Col. Dura Mawa "Coffee is a backbone of household income in the district, and Uganda generally; the project is starting at the right time for the farmers to take full advantage when poverty is stunting the economy."
Since the farmers in Kasese district are already in organized groups, farmers enrolled on the project would be given free coffee seedlings starting with the wet season of September to December.
Introduction of this project will provide Hima with regular supply of coffee husks, a raw material for producing alternative fuels which guarantees that Hima products shall be produced under friendly environmental conditions because it greatly reduces on carbon emissions.