A project to support the implementation of Robusta Coffee Agroforestry for the adaptation and mitigation of climate change in Uganda was launched on the 13th of September 2022 at Hotel Africana, Kampala. The €4.150 million project is with support from the European Union and will take a four-year period. This project aims at countering the negative impact of climate change on people and the environment, which has significant implications for agriculture, food security, soil and water resources.
The official opening was by Hon. David Muhumuza, who represented the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture. He thanked the European Union for its financial support to Uganda and NARO for the great research work being done towards developing the coffee sector. He specifically acknowledged the National Coffee Research Institute for delving into value addition and encouraged the scaling up of coffee to all parts of Uganda because all parliamentarians want their regions to grow coffee. In conclusion, he cautioned that coffee growing should not come at the expense of beekeeping, which greatly contributes to coffee pollination. This is because some pesticides used to spray coffee kill all pests, including bees, thus killing a part of the economy.
In his remarks, Dr Ambrose Agona, Director General of NARO, asked a pertinent question: whether it’s climate change or climate variability? He also asked how best Robusta Coffee’s growth can be improved amidst climate change in the country.
Dr Ambrose Agona (Director General of NARO) giving his remarks at the project launch.
“To make robusta coffee unique, we need to deeply look at the aspects of germplasm diversity and utilization through setting up a baseline.”
He emphasized that coffee is looked at as a business and urged implementers to develop more tools to be competitive in the market for coffee. He cautioned them to produce value for money for the European Union to continue investing in the country.
The European Union representative, Ms. Nadia Cannata, echoed that Robusta Coffee is not only for sale but for the benefit of the country’s livelihood, which is why they brought the project on board with a lot of expertise. She called upon all partners to play their roles to enable the achievement of the project objectives.
This project will be implemented by 7 partners, with Centre International de Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD, France) being the lead institute.