President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has today afternoon visited Bukoto Central Youth Link Coffee Factory at Kamuzinda village in Kyanamukaka sub-county, Masaka district where he urged farmers to add value to their output in order to uplift their welfare.
On arrival, the President was welcomed by the team of coffee farmers led by Julius Kanamwangi, the chairman of Bukoto Central Youth Link. He was shown a number of agricultural products that included; roasted coffee seeds and packed coffee powder locally known as ‘kaawa’.
While addressing a team of farmers, President Museveni appreciated them for transforming their lives by getting involved in commercial agriculture.
He said that there is a need for the farmers to add value to their products in order to further transform their standards of living.
He detailed that coffee can be roasted, ground, packed well, add milk to it and any other good spice then sold slightly higher than the current price.
He went ahead to give an example of Indonesia where they add value to their coffee with milk, and other important spices, package it and then sell it expensively. He thereafter urged the Ugandan farmers to borrow a leaf from Indonesia and any other country which adds value to their produce.
President Museveni also promised to continue supporting coffee farmers and avail them with among others; a coffee roasting machine, and a coffee grinding machine; all costing Shs.150m.
Concerning the transportation issue, the President promised to get them a Fuso box body motor vehicle costing Shs.250m which they will use to collect their yields from the gardens and take them to the market after processing them.
On his part, Kanamwangi appreciated President Museveni for visiting them and for initiating government developmental programs like Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), and Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) which gave them 385,000 coffee seedlings that they planted in two years.
Kanamwangi said 240 youths managed to plant an acre of coffee with the intention to enable them to support themselves. He added they normally take the coffee for roasting and grinding which is costly and therefore appreciated Museveni for donating to them the necessary machines.
Concerning the issue of transport, he explained to the President that they face it rough while harvesting, processing their coffee and then taking it to the market due to the absence of better transport means. Kanamwangi, therefore, appreciated President Museveni for supporting them and accepting to get them a Fuso Box body truck.
He also thanked the President for giving them a tractor through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADs) program which has helped the youths to dig on a large scale, citing an example where one who used to dig on one acre of land can now dig on five acres using cheap labour.
Kanamwangi further urged the youths to embrace government development programs to fight poverty.
He revealed that he started with one acre of land which was given to him by the President. He said through such support, he was able to buy land, and coffee and expanded to seven acres which enabled him to get Shs.15m (last year) from two acres of coffee plantation and now he is expecting to receive over Shs.30m from four acres of coffee plantation.