BARALEGE STATE LODGE, OTUKE DISTRICT: President Yoweri Museveni said Uganda aims at adding value to coffee in-order to tap on the global value that now stands at $ 460 billion.
“The global value of coffee is now $469 billion, all the coffee producing countries share $ 25 billion and Africa takes only $ 2.4 billion out of which Uganda gets about $ 800 million,” he observed.
The President was yesterday delivering an Opportunity Lecture to a delegation of 21 visiting senior military officers from the Nigerian National Defense College who are on a strategic tour to Uganda to learn more on agriculture with a particular emphasis on coffee production under the theme, “Agriculture and natural development with focus on coffee development, production and export.”
The Nigerian delegation that called on him at Barlege State Lodge in Otuke County Otuke district was led by Brigadier General Obina Godwin Onubogu the Director of Higher Defense Management Organization in Nigeria.
The delegation was accompanied by 3 officials from the Nigerian Embassy in Uganda.
President Museveni who was happy to note that the visiting Nigerian military delegation was interested in the area of agriculture stressed the importance of the sector in all industries adding that it must be integrated and agro- based.
The President took his guests through the European history of how agriculture in some quarters was viewed as the source of wealth and how Adam Smith and other writers debated on the issue noting that agriculture must be industrially based to adequately benefit from the sector.
President Museveni told the delegation that coffee has 6 levels of processing and value addition that include growing, de-hasking, roasting, gridding, packaging and selling.
The President informed them that missing any of the last 3 stages of value addition to coffee would deprive the country of jobs of roasting, gridding and packaging as well as income.
He noted that Uganda has a big potential for agricultural production that is why some surpluses are now realized in food like maize, bananas and milk among others.
“People in Uganda have a culture of production. In Uganda we don’t have pressure for food. Food production is good for stability,” he said.
Commenting on some of the concerns raised by members of the delegation like the security situation in the Great Lakes Region, President Museveni pointed out that the issue can be resolved by sister countries cooperating and working together.
“Problems in the Great Lakes region can be solved if we work together,” he said
On Integration of Africa he said the first important step is to work for prosperity where goods and services are produced and sold in a united market. He also stressed the importance of strategic security using fraternity as one of the factors that are required for meaningful integration given the world prevailing circumstances.
“Africa is inferior in all the four dynamic areas including Air, Land, Sea and space. How then shall we ensure our strategic security,” he said.
On the issue of fighting corruption, President Museveni said while government has made various efforts to fight the vice, there are still challenges.
“Private peoples money is difficult to steal. Corrupt people steal government money and property and in the process denying services to the people. The people are victims. It is a fight that needs involvement of all stakeholders including the victims,” he said.
President Museveni further noted that there is a huge potential of trade between Uganda and Nigeria in many products.
The head of delegation, Brigadier General Obina Godwin Onubogu who is the director of Higher Defense Management Organization, conveyed to President Museveni greetings from the Head of the College Rear Admiral Mutala Bashir and that of the Nigerian Ambassador to Uganda.
He expressed his hope that the visit will further cement the existing cordial friendly relationship between Nigeria and Uganda.
The Nigerian military delegation was accompanied by Brig. Gen. Matthew Gureme the Chief of Training and Recruitment in the UPDF.
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