Museveni To Discuss With Coffee Stakeholders in Coffee Sector.
President Yoweri Museveni has agreed to sit with stakeholders in the coffee sector and dialogue on the controversial coffee deal between the government of Uganda and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company which was quashed by parliament recently.
He pronounced himself on the embattled coffee agreement while delivering the state of the nation address to parliament at Kololo independence Grounds where he opened the second session of the 11th parliament. He pledged to side with critics of the VINCI Coffee deal if they change to support coffee value addition against the exportation of raw coffee.
The State of the Nation Address in Kololo kicked off with the swearing-in of Andrew Ojok Oulanyah the son of the former speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanyah who recently won the by-election for Omoro county MP seat to inherit his father.
In her communication, the speaker of parliament Anita Among pledged to give members of parliament all the support they need in the second session to deliver on their mandate. She asked MPs to reflect on the performance of the 1st session of parliament at both institutional and individual levels to perform better.
While delivering the state of the nation address to parliament at Kololo independence grounds today, President Yoweri Museveni announced his readiness to dialogue with all stakeholders in the coffee sector who are against the controversial coffee deal between the government of Uganda and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company (UVCC) to forge the way forward for Uganda’s coffee. He pledged to convene this meeting in two weeks’ time.
Museveni however slammed critics of the VINCI investor Enrica Pinetti and disclosed that he is the one who asked Pinetti,, to venture into coffee value addition after discovering that Ugandan coffee farmers were being exploited through exportation of unprocessed coffee.
Museveni expressed concerns that Coffee producing countries are getting peanuts from coffee revenue because many export unprocessed coffee to Europe where it is processed into the finest expensive products and foreigners mint more dollars out of it as Africans are exploited. Museveni flashed statistics to members of parliament indicating that Africa only earns USD2.54bn out of the total world coffee value of USD460bn.
He announced a campaign against the exportation of unprocessed raw materials including timber, gold, iron ore, and cotton among others.
The President reiterated the government stance in the prevailing economic depression, attributing it to the Russian- Ukraine war that has suffocated supply of grains, palm oil and fuel. He emphasized that his government will not waive taxes on imported goods to cushion the current skyrocketing prices of commodities saying it will paralyze revenue generation and suffocate ongoing infrastructural development programs. He rather insisted on long-term strategies.
On Agriculture, Museveni preached “the four-acre model” for intensive agriculture and irrigation farming for extensive aspects. He announced the Government’s commitment to intensify efforts in irrigation farming by scaling up the use of solar-powered water pumps and the revamp and expansion of the existing irrigation schemes including Mubuku, Doho, and Rwanganju among others.
In defence and security Museveni justified why it was necessary to deploy troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo to flash out ADF rebels. He also briefed the country on the state of the current UPDF disarmament operation in Karamoja.