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Uganda loses slot at the International Coffee Organization as UCDA MD withdraws

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Shocking news reaching our desk has it the government of Uganda and coffee farmers are set to lose big after a surprise decision made Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) MD Emmanuel.

Dr. Emmanuel Lyamulemye Niyibira solely withdrew Uganda from international coffee organization without authority from the Government.

This is above the managing director to decide and it has implications on coffee export.

interestimgly Uganda exports coffee using ICO certificates that are issued to member countries.

If we withdraw, it means we will have difficulty in exporting coffee. This is a serious issue,” a coffee who preferred anonymity told this website.

The Minister of Agriculture wasn’t consulted. The UCDA top management, led by the MD, acted unilaterally and this is something Parliament, donors and other stakeholders aren’t going to accept,” says a source adding that absence of a substantive governing board at UCDA to veto many of the CEO’s decisions has only made worse an already bad situation.

Farmer associations and private sector leaders in the Ugandan coffee arena are equally appalled by this decision as communicated by the UCDA MD whose belligerent approach some are now blaming for such anomalous decision making at the Jinja Road-based agency.

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) is an intergovernmental body, set up in 1963

under the auspices of the United Nations, responsible for implementing the International

Coffee Agreement (2007) to strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its sustainable development.

The ICO provides a unique forum for the global coffee community, working actively with its

Member governments, international organizations, the private sector and all other stakeholders to address the challenges and opportunities facing the global coffee community,

including the development and implementation of strategies to enhance the livelihood and

the capacity of local rural communities and smallholder farmers to benefit from coffee production.

The ICO Five-Year Action Plan 2017-2021 identified as strategic goals:

1. Delivering world-class data, analysis and information to the industry and policy-makers;

II. Using the Organization’s convening power to provide a forum for dialogue between and within the public and private sectors;

III. Facilitating coffee sector development projects and promotion programmes through public-private partnerships.

ICO Member Governments represent 98% of the world’s coffee production and two-thirds of world consumption, providing a unique forum for the global coffee community.

According to the National Coffee Act Section 40(3), UCDA is required to profile,grade and certify coffee in line with the international standards issued by ICO and other international standard bodies. Therefore for UCDA to pull out ICO, which is a legal requirement is not only scandalous but also Uganda Coffee will lose market!

Coffee is exported using ICO certificates that are issued by members countries! It therefore means that our coffee export will be affect and we won’t be issuing ICO certificates since we are mo longer members.

This news has sent shock waves among the farmers and economist for the MD to act solely without consulting the Board and the ministry of Agriculture.

Coffee is one of Uganda’s largest export earner and this is likely to affect her very much. Watch the space!!!

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