Coffee stakeholders have welcomed the reappointment of Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye as Managing Director at Uganda Coffee Development Authority. Stakeholders applauded Dr. Iyamulemye’s appointment as the right decision to ensure that the gains made by the Authority and the coffee sector over the years are sustained.
This was during a meeting to discuss the National Coffee Act 2021 and the progress of the implementation of the Coffee Roadmap held at Protea Hotel Kampala Skyz in Naguru.
The stakeholder meeting was called for to engage coffee stakeholders and seek their views on the National Coffee Act 2021 that was assented to by H.E the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on August 31, 2021, and the Coffee Roadmap that sets a production target of 20m bags of coffee by 2025.
The meeting was presided over by Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). Other dignitaries included Hon. Lt. Col (Rtd) Bright Rwamirama, Minister of State for Animal Industry, Hon. Fred Bwino Kyakulaga, Minister of State for Agriculture, Maj. Gen. Kasura Kyomukama, the Permanent Secretary, MAAIF, Amb. Solomon Rutega, the Inter-African Coffee Organisation Secretary General, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Janet Okori Moe, the head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Dr. Ezra Suruma, UCDA Board members and key players in the private sector.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye on his reappointment as the Managing Director of Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA). We have no doubt that he will continue to serve the sub-sector with the same passion he did over the last five years,” noted Hon. Kyakulaga.
Under the leadership of Dr. Iyamulemye (2016 to 2021), the coffee sector attained notable achievements at both the national and global levels.
Dr. Charles Mugoya, the Chairman of the UCDA Board applauded Dr. Iyamulemye for his leadership and noted that the Board’s tenure starts at a time when Uganda’s coffee is making a great comeback.
“I am happy that our tenure starts when the Uganda Coffee story is in its prime. Over the past year, Uganda has attained numerous milestones. Taken together, these milestones are an indication of the great effort made by the different actors in the coffee value chain including the farmers, processors, exporters, traders, roasters, and the leadership of UCDA,” Dr. Mugoya said.
Over the past year, Uganda has attained numerous milestones and seen the sector thrive despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In 2020, Uganda was ranked 3rd country with the best coffee globally by independent specialists who cupped blind samples from different origins.
- In July 2020, Uganda’s monthly coffee exports surpassed 500,000 60-kg bags for the first time. The volumes of coffee exports have kept rising and peaked at 700,250 bags worth US$ 70 million in July 2021.
- UCDA launched a countrywide campaign to stump old coffee trees and distribute organic fertilizers to farmers using farmer organizations/cooperatives as an entry point
- UCDA has entered into a formal partnership with religious and cultural institutions to expand the acreage of coffee countrywide. The Catholic and Anglican Churches are rapidly setting up coffee farms for income generation.
- This year, UCDA partnered with the British High Commission to implement a campaign to raise awareness of our value-added coffee and promote it to retailers and supermarkets in the UK.
- This year, Uganda overtook India as a leading supplier of coffee to Italy and behind only Brazil.
- The National Coffee Act 2021 was passed by Parliament and assented to by H.E The President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni this year.
Dr. Ezra Suruma, Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and a key architect of the Roadmap noted that the achievements of UCDA especially pushing the production figure to the current 8 million bags was no mean achievement.
“I expected that after the liberalization of the coffee sector in 1990, coffee production would go up significantly. I was disappointed. However, today, when I hear that we have gone to 8m bags, this is not a small achievement," Dr. Suruma noted.
For a long time, Uganda’s coffee production had stagnated at 3.5 million bags but after interventions initiated by the Authority and other stakeholders such as Operation Wealth Creation, National Coffee Research Institute, cultural and religious institutions, coffee production and exports have risen.
The UCDA October report shows that coffee exports for 12 months (November 2020 - October 2021) totaled 6.55 million bags worth US 657.23 million compared to 5.41 million bags worth US$ 513.79 million the previous year (November 2019- October 2020). This represents an increase of 21% and 28% in both quantity and value respectively.
Private players asked Dr. Iyamulemye to continue steering the Authority forward and promised to rally behind him to maintain this upward trend and consolidate the gains in the sector.
Emmanuel Iyamulemye Niyibigira is an agricultural scientist (Ph.D., MBA), with over 15 years of experience in agriculture-related programme design and delivery.
His core competencies are in strategic planning, and programme management, reviews, and evaluations; his technical background and competencies are agriculture, agribusiness, rural development, crop protection, import, and export risk analysis, sanitary and phytosanitary issues.
Before joining UCDA, he was the National Programme Coordinator for the EU-funded Northern Uganda Agriculture Livelihoods Recovery Programme (ALREP) and the Karamoja Livelihoods Programme (KALIP), in the Office of the Prime Minister, Uganda. He was also Programme Manager, FAO – October 2008 to July 2010.
He holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Agricultural Sciences from Wageningen University, and a Master’s degree, Crop Science from the same University.
He also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Uganda Martyrs University.