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USAID Tells Uganda To Involve beneficiaries in policy formulation

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Failure to include beneficiaries has failed many policies from taking off, according to the United States Mission director, Leslie Reed, who was speaking during a coffee policy implementation workshop on Wednesday at Mosa Courts hotel in Kampala.

?Uganda has created great and strategic policies; however, their effective implementation still remains a challenge,? said Reed.

One of the guiding principles of the coffee policy is to provide coffee development services to all farmers with special emphasis on women and youth.

This can be achieved through the gender-based approach to empower women and youth to participate at all stages of the coffee value chain since they are the main sources of labour.

The meeting was aimed at commencing the implementation of the national coffee policy that defines interventions required for scaling up performance of the crop that is critical for the country?s development.

?We believe that the coffee policy is important in providing supportive legal and regulatory framework to create an enabling environment for the coffee sub sector.

She added that since coffee is Uganda?s major foreign exchange earner, it will address existing and emerging issues and also identify opportunities for Uganda?s coffee to remain competitive on the international market.

USAID?s assistance towards the implementation of the coffee policy has been channeled through their Feed the Future Initiative which is aimed at making the agriculture sector more competitive.

The programme focuses on three main areas which include value chains in coffee, maize and beans and has so far worked with 365 000 farmers through producer organisation and businesses.

Some of the challenges in the coffee business include fake agro chemicals, poor storage facilities that increase the moisture content in the coffee beans, which in the long run affect the taste and aroma of the coffee.

At the same function, the minister of state for agriculture, Vincent Ssempijja said that popularizing the policy is one of government priorities which he said, he is spearheading.

He added that there is a government will to ensure that the policy is appreciated and embraced by coffee farmers and other stake holders.

He adds the policy will be accompanied by a law with punitive actions against those found adulterating farm inputs that are compromising the quality of Uganda?s? produce including coffee.

By Prossy Nandudu, The New Vision

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