Scale Down Elite Robusta Seedlings Production

The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Vincent B Ssempijja, has issued new guidelines to nursery operators about production and distribution of elite Robusta coffee seedlings.
Since 2014, the Ministry of Agriculture through Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), district local governments and Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) has been implementing a coffee replanting programme. The objective of the programme was to raise, distribute and plant 300 million coffee seedlings per year thus contributing to the production of 20 million bags of coffee per year as envisioned in the Coffee Roadmap launched by H. E. the President of Uganda. In the last four years, nursery operators and farmers have raised and planted 800 million coffee seedlings.
Speaking at the Uganda Media Centre, Hon. Ssempijja told journalists that starting with the second planting season this year (i.e. September – November) the Ministry will start scaling down the production and distribution of elite seedlings to farmers. However, the promotion of multiplication of Coffee Wilt Disease Resistant (CWDR) clonal cuttings through establishment of mother gardens will continue.
The Minister also guided as follows:
•    All coffee nursery operators with elite Robusta coffee seedlings should, with immediate effect, scale down seedlings production so as not to have any carry over stock expected to be procured under Government funding after the 2nd season of 2019 (i.e. Sep – Nov 2019)
•    No certificate will be issued to a new elite Robusta coffee nursery, except to operators in drought prone districts in Northern Uganda and parts of North Eastern and Eastern Uganda
•    Production of coffee seedlings in Arabica growing districts, in limited quantities, shall continue but under strict guidance from UCDA
•    Coffee nursery operators who wish to plant their already raised coffee seedlings in their gardens before the end of the 2nd season of 2019 are free to do so as long as verification by UCDA and district local government officials confirms the coffee garden’s suitability and preparedness. The planted seedlings shall be recorded and verified by UCDA, district local governments and OWC
•    Propagation of Coffee Wilt Disease Resistant plantlets (clonal cuttings), in Robusta coffee growing areas, shall continue and be scaled up, but under strict guidance from UCDA
•    Only mature and quality seedlings (elite and clonal) which will have been certified and are available before the end of the 2nd planting season of 2019 will be procured by UCDA on credit and shall be paid for in the medium term as funds become available
•    After the second season of 2019, the Government shall redirect the support towards coffee productivity enhancement programmes such as coffee rehabilitation (stumping), soil fertility management, farmer training in good agronomic practices and provision of water for production
•    Farmers in Robusta coffee growing areas who may wish to plant the old clonal coffee lines (A, B, C, D, F and H) may continue to do so at their own cost but under guidance from NaCORI and UCDA
•    Only NaCORI and UCDA on behalf of MAAIF shall certify coffee seed gardens. Any nursery operator wishing to privately engage in elite seedlings must first get clearance from UCDA

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