US coffee investor gets free land in Uganda
Monday 7th March 2010
KISORO district council has offered 50 acres of land to Urth Caffé, an American coffee chain based in California, to establish a coffee factory, laboratory, training centre and an eco-lodge.
Dr. Philemon Mateke, the LCV chairperson, indicated in a February 8 letter that what remains to be done was the surveying of the land located in Rwerere village, Muramba sub-county.
“Despite the outstanding surveying issue, please feel free to come over to Kisoro and start your investment plan,” read the letter.
The Bufumbira South MP, Trace Buchanayandi, who handed over the letter to Berkman Shallom, the founder of Urth Caffe last week, assured him that the district would support his investment plan.
“We are pleased to have the investment in the district. We shall give you all the needed support to ensure that all your investments benefit the people of Kisoro,” said Buchanayandi.
Shallom welcomed the district’s gesture.
He said he will begin with the establishment of a coffee demonstration garden in the district and set up a central wet coffee processing and hulling plant, a fully equipped laboratory and a cup testing facility.
“With all our investments in the district, I want them to be instrumental in exposing Kisoro coffee to several buyers from the US,” said Shallom.
He said the coffee centre will provide opportunity to farmers, and extension workers to learn modern methods of organic coffee production.
Henry Ngabirano, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority managing director, who toured organic coffee farmers in the district, appealed to farmers to embrace the project.
The Mountain Gorilla Coffee Estate Association in the district is already working with coffee farmers to grow the finest quality, organic and sustainable coffee to improve members’ livelihood.
By Ronald Kalyango : The New Vision Newspaper