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Response to a Problem Coffee was introduced in Acholi and Lango sub-regions in mid-Northern Uganda, by 1997, at first through pressure from political leaders, as an alternative perennial crop to the traditional cotton crop. This was an effort to fight poverty levels - aggravated by effects of a prolonged civil war in this sub-region. Cotton and other annual traditional food crops had little effect on poverty and introducing coffee, as alternative perennial crop was deemed very important to the region. Systematic coffee planting by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) first as a pilot (around 2001), and subsequently, has had a positive impact in the mid-North sub-region. To date, 16000 farmers in mid-Northern Uganda have planted 5,441 hectares. The current output in the sub-region is 154 metric tons; with a potential output estimated at 16,323 metric tons at peak and stable production level by 2017. The study identified districts with high potential for coffee production in the sub-region such as; Apac, Lira, Nwoya, and Oyam. Enablers UCDA through the elite clonal robusta coffee seedling distribution programme has been the lead agent of change in the transfer of coffee technology in the sub-region. This has been through working partnerships with about 132 low-cost-low- input private nursery operators. The nursery operators are key actors in the transfer of proven high performing elite clonal robusta seedlings to farmers in a cost effective way across 14 districts in the sub-region. This programme has had varied success across the sub-region with pronounced responses in only 5 districts (Lira, Nwoya, Oyam, Kole, and Apac) out of the 14 districts in the sub-region. Coffee Poverty Reduction Evidence The 2009/10 UNPS data reveal a significant household poverty reduction effect from coffee production; through incremental household consumption expenditure. Results further confirm that coffee producing households are associated with lesser poverty incidence compared to non-coffee producers. The interesting evidence we find from the study suggests that coffee production is a pro-poor intervention due to its strong positive impact on per capita consumption expenditure among the poorest households. Self-reported qualitative assessment reveals that coffee farmers feel that their welfare has improved to satisfactory levels from incomes earned from coffee. A farmer (as an individual) needs 1.4 metric tons of kiboko (unprocessed) coffee in a year to earn 1.2 million shillings-UGX (the threshold annual income) to move out of poverty. Challenges to Coffee Production in the Sub-region The UCDA national coffee expansion program anchoring in mid-Northern Uganda is still in its infancy; and faced with the following bottlenecks that need to be addressed to consolidate the proven poverty reduction potential in this sub-region.


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