President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has advised Uganda’s political class to sensitize their people about value addition to raw materials in order to increase the country’s revenue and create more jobs.
While meeting the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary Regional Whips at State House on Monday, he told them that coffee, cotton, maize, milk, forest products, and materials were some of the commodities that should not be exported raw but rather processed to fetch higher incomes for the country.
He added that recently he was in Algeria, and they also want coffee; they can buy our processed coffee.
“This is something we cannot miss. These young people have come up to fill the gap that was there. That’s what I wanted us to do for all raw materials. What happened to milk? I would like it to be done for coffee. That’s why, the other time in Parliament, you were fighting my plan of value addition. But I refused; I’m going ahead; I don’t know what will happen, but I cannot accept selling coffee at 2.5 dollars when I can sell it for 25 dollars a kilo. It’s criminal, and I cannot accept it,” the president warned.
He also said the dairy industry was transformed from zero in 1989 to 3.8 billion US dollars now, which is a step in the right direction to ensure vertical and horizontal integration.
The meeting was also attended by a consortium of 15 companies dealing in the production and export of coffee, led by Nelson Tugume, the founder of Inspire Africa Coffee.
Tugume, who also doubles as Chairman of the Coffee Investment Consortium, told the president that about 10 million US dollars, or approximately 37 billion Uganda shillings, are needed in the first phase to export quality and quantity processed coffee.
“To export the required quality and quantity of processed coffee to the Balkan states and other markets that have opened as a result of the quarrel between Russia and the West,” Tugume told the President.
The meeting was attended, among others, by the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, the Government Chief Whip, Hamson Obua, and the Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka.