A coffee festival that seeks to motivate the youth to pay more attention to agribusiness will be held at Namboole on November 4.
The second annual coffee festival, which is organised by different organizations, aims to try and place youth as key drivers of the growth of coffee consumption and exports, which have recently dropped.
Joseph Nkandu, the executive director of Nucafe, one of the institutions organizing, said the festival could also reduce the high percentage of youth unemployment.
“The youth should embrace coffee agribusiness right from primary production through value addition and marketing because the coffee subsector has a huge potential to create businesses run by the youth, wealth, jobs and adds momentum to government’s effort of boosting coffee production and export,” he said during a stakeholders’ meeting held at Namboole recently ahead of the main November event.
Government plans to have a strong coffee industry by increasing the annual coffee production from 3.2 million to 10 million 60-kg bags by 2018. The country also plans to boost annual output to 20 million bags by 2020 by planting 900 million trees in three years through June 2019.
Recent developments have shown that the industry has slumped. The volume of coffee produced in the financial year 2014/15 decreased from 3.7 million 60kg bags worth $425.4m in financial year 2013/14 to 3.24 million bags worth $410m.
Samuele Rizzo, the chief of party for Skilling Youth for Employment in Agribusiness project, under AVSI foundation, which is also partner of the organisers, said more emphasis must be focused on empowering the youth with practical agribusiness skills that can help them compete for both local and international jobs.
“We need to nurture a generation of young agripreneurs supported with skills that the job market demands to bridge the unemployment gap. Therefore, I implore the general public and other partners to come to this festival platform to witness new innovations and share knowledge on how to move the country forward through boosting coffee agribusiness,” he said.
This year’s festival intends to attract more than 5,000 participants including, but not limited to, coffee farmers and traders, university students, policy makers, among others.