By Spy Uganda
Kampala: After an alarming public outcry from the farmers and other stakeholders, the Ugandan government has blocked a coffee agreement with controversial investor Enrica Pinette’s Vinci coffee company.
On 10th February 2022, the government through Minister Kasaija signed an agreement with Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited (UVCC) owned by Pinneti giving exclusive rights to the company to buy all of Uganda’s coffee.
In the highly criticized agreement, Pinetti’s Vinci coffee company is expected to construct an 80 Million US Dollar integrated coffee processing plant at Namanve Industrial Park and also market the finished coffee products in Europe and the Middle East. Don’t forget that Pinetti is the ‘investor’ behind the stalled Lubowa hospital.
In the same agreement, the company was given a 10-year tax holiday as well as a subsidized power tariff of five cents per unit of power for 10 years. The MPs wondered why neither the Attorney General nor the Solicitor General was involved in the signing of the agreement.
Now, we have learnt that the government has set up a ministerial committee comprising the energy ministry, agriculture, Attorney General, and Ministry of Finance among others to review the agreement on Tuesday next week.
Last week, the Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary, Ramathan Ggoobi, defended the agreement, saying it intends to improve the quality of Uganda’s coffee.
“The recent surge in the growing of coffee has gone hand in hand with the efforts to improve quality. The aim is to push the current annual production of 420,000 tonnes up to 1.2m tonnes in the year 2030. We want to produce more coffee, and get the best out of it. We’re targeting $2b. I’ve seen many tweets underscoring the competitiveness of our coffee on the world market,” he said.