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Gov’t to distribute seeds to 300,000 households in Acholi



Kitgum, Uganda |    The government through Operation Wealth Creation and National Agricultural Advisory Services is to start distribution of emergency seed support to more than 3,000 households in the eight districts of Acholi.

This is part of t5he countrywide support Government has planned to cater for 30 percent of households who are engaged in farming with funds earmarked to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on agriculture. The distribution will be undertaken by Operation Wealth Creation- OWC and the  National Agricultural Advisory Service- NAADS.  

Through the support, farmers in the region are expected to receive 3,019,220 million kilograms of maize seeds, 9,057, 660 million kgs of beans seeds, 905,766 kgs of simsim, 7.5 million Kgs of soya beans and 1.5 million Kgs of sorghum. The farmers will also receive 4.5 million kgs of cowpeas, 301,922 bags of groundnuts, 2.4 million bags of cassava cuttings and 301,922 kgs of onion seeds.

Lt Col Benson Bokello Odur, the Operation Wealth Creation Coordinator for Kitgum District, says that they have embarked on registering farmers to benefit from the support.

He notes that the district COVID-19 task force headed by the Resident District commissioner will to take a lead in supervising the registration of beneficiaries to eliminate bias.

Several farmers in the district started ploughing their gardens and consequently planting crops such as cereals and legumes by mid-march till date as the region continues to receive above-normal rainfall this first farming season.

Some of the farmers however raised scepticism whether the government supplies will still be timely.

Richard Otema, a farmer in Opete village in Lukwor Parish, Labongo Amida Sub-county notes that most gardens in the district are currently ready or some farmers have planted on it already and wondered if the seeds will serve its purposes.

“If you move around, we farmers have opened up our gardens already, some have even planted already but we are being told seeds will be coming, will they be time and help us during this period,”? He asked.

But Lt Col Odur says they are in the process of speeding up registration to ensure that those still preparing their land receive supplies of the seeds in time within the planting season.

“We are expecting that by next week or the coming week, the seeds will have arrived, but we are trying on the ground to ensure that the beneficiaries are registered fast because this helps the government to contract suppliers knowing the exact numbers of farmers,” He says.

According to the breakdown on the emergency seed supply, each household representing six people in the districts of Omoro, Gulu, Kitgum, Amuru, Pader, Agago and Lamwo will get one acre of each crop type.

Agriculture remains one of the core sector of the country’s economy employing about 60 percent of the population.



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farm news

Robusta coffee hits record high to trade at sh7,500 per kilo in Ibanda



Robusta coffee prices have continued their upward trend by gaining sh1,000 in value over the past month. 

Robusta is trading at a high of sh7,500 per kilogramme of quality beans in Ibanda, while traders quoted low-grade robusta coffee beans at sh7,200 per kilo.

This compares to sh6,500 a kilo four weeks ago and sh5,600 recorded two months back. The sh7,500 per kilo is the highest for Robusta coffee in a long time in Ibanda and surpasses the sh6,900 recorded during the last harvest season.

Deogratias Tihwayo, a coffee trader in Ibanda town, attributed the increase to the quality of this season’s coffee beans compared to previous seasons. He said this has attracted more buyers and, hence, pushed up the prices.

David Kiiza, the chairperson of Kashangura Coffee Co-operative in Kashungura, Kagongo Division, said farmers were observing the recommended agronomical practices that have improved quality and out-turn. 

Meanwhile, Arabica coffee was unchanged over the reporting period, trading between sh8,000 and sh8,500 per kilogramme in Ibanda town and Kashangura. Arabica coffee hit a record high of sh12,000 a kilo last season. 

However, there has been subdued demand over the past months with the crop out of season.

UCDA daily market prices

Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) indicative figures for March 20 quoted robusta (clean) at between sh7,000 and sh8,000 a kilo, Arabica parchment sh8,500 – sh9,500, and Kiboko ranged from sh2,300 to sh2,600 per kilogramme, among others.

Source: New Vision

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Falling coffee prices, reduced output forecasts rattle Uganda farmers



There has been a slump in international coffee prices and shipping costs in the last quarter of 2022

Uganda’s coffee industry is walking into a challenging 2023 defined by falling prices and diminished output forecasts following the recent dry spell that hit major growing areas.

While the sector enjoyed a boom between 2020 and 2022 – with surging coffee prices, rising export volumes and considerable incomes for farmers – decline in international shipping costs and improved production forecasts in Brazil triggered a slump in coffee prices in the last quarter of 2022, according to industry players.

International shipping costs dropped from record highs of $10,000 per container charged on certain sea routes in January 2022 to less than $2,000. Shipping fees charged per 20-foot container ferried from Indonesia to North America, for example, are estimated at $800-$1,000 currently.

Consequently, local and international coffee prices have dropped since October 2022.

International robusta coffee prices fell from an average price of $2,400 per tonne to $1,856 per tonne towards the end of last year, according to industry data. Local robusta coffee prices declined from Ush7,200 ($1.9) per kilogramme to Ush5,800 ($1.6) per kilogramme during the second half of 2022 while Arabica coffee prices fell from Ush11,000 ($2.9) per kilogramme to Ush8,000 ($2) per kilogramme in the period.

In 2021, average coffee prices stood at more than Ush15,000 ($4) per kilogramme.

Dry spell

Robusta coffee production accounts for more than 60 percent of Uganda’s overall coffee output.

Besides gloomy coffee price forecasts for 2023, a severe dry spell in the past six months could pose a huge threat to coffee production levels. The weather affected major coffee-growing areas like the Central region and risks cutting this year’s output to around 5.5 million bags, industry players forecast.

“Brazil and Vietnam are headed for a bumper coffee harvest this year while India and Indonesia have discounted their local coffee prices in a way that has undercut Uganda’s growth momentum on the international market,” said Robert Byaruhanga, chief executive of local exporter Funzo Coffee Ltd.

Post-Covid shift

Asian and Latin American coffee exporters are regaining dominance in European and North American markets after the lockdown period because of the lower coffee prices, reduced freight charges, shorter port clearance turnaround times and reasonable coffee quality grades, Byaruhanga explained.

Ugandan farmers are now holding onto their coffee produce in anticipation of better prices.

Overall coffee exports stood at 6.26 million bags valued at $862.28 million in 2021/22 compared to 6.08 million bags worth $559.16 million registered in 2020/21, data from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority shows.

An estimated 447,162. 60 kilogramme bags of coffee valued at $64.1 million were exported in November 2022 at an average price of $2.39 per kilogramme — 6 US cents lower than the average price of $2.45 per kilogramme posted in October 2022.

Original Source: Daily Monitor

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Over 40 goats die of PPR disease in Madi-Okollo



At least 43 goats have died of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) disease, also known as ‘goat plague’ and several others are undergoing treatment in Madi-Okollo district.

Madi-Okollo district veterinary officer, Dr Charles Onzima, says the viral disease, which is related to rinderpest in sheep as well as goats, has claimed the lives of goats in Olali parish in Ogoko sub-county.

He adds that PPR disease was confirmed in the district after 500 local and 94 Boer goats were supplied to families in Olali parish under a poverty eradication programme that he suspects infected the local goats.

43 of the boar goats died while 10 of the local goats of the communities also died of PPR disease.

Onzima says immediately after receiving information about the disease, the veterinary officers got the goats manifesting the signs of PPR that include sudden onset of depression, fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, sores in the mouth, breathing difficulty and death among others.

He says that they have already had three rounds of vaccination for the available goats in the affected area.

Original Source: New Vision Via

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