MBALE, Uganda (Xinhua) --
The early return of rain has stirred optimism of
better Arabica coffee yields among farmers in Uganda’s Mt. Elgon
sub region this year.
Unlike last year
when rain returned late in March, this year’s rain returned
earlier than forecasted by the national metrological department.
department recently forecast that near normal to normal rains
would return to the Mt. Elgon area in eastern Uganda from early
By late February,
however, rain had already returned in the area, especially the
Arabica coffee growing districts of Bududa, upper Bulambuli,
Manafwa, Kapchorwa and the upper coffee growing areas in Mbale
Martin Nangoli, a
commercial coffee farmer and exporter, who owns 3,500 trees in
Masira sub-county, Bulambuli district, said that farmers are
already tending to the coffee plantations to nurture the trees
through the flowering stage.
“During the dry
spell from last November to early February this year, we were
pruning, mulching and weeding. The coffee trees are flowering
now. With the return of rains, we are now applying organic
manure around the tree plants. This time round, unlike last
year, the rains have returned at the right time during
flowering. This provides hope for better yields and weighty
quality coffee beans,” Nangoli explained.
The major Arabica
coffee harvest season stretches from May to August. Coffee is
Uganda’s lead export crop.
David Isanga, the
Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) regional extension
officer, said that the early return of rains had resuscitated
coffee plants that were withering.
“There were some
farmers who planted new coffee seedlings during the second
season in the current national campaign to increase coffee
production. But the December sunshine dried up about 40 percent
of these new seedlings, according to the survey we did. The
return of the rains is a breather to these new plants and a
blessing to farmers with already yielding plants,” Isanga
Musira, a commercial
coffee farmer with 6,000 coffee trees, said the drought had
withered the coffee plants and affected the flowering stage.
“The trees strained
to bear flowers amidst the drought. As such, most of the flowers
shed off from the branches. Trees have started to flower again
with the current torrential rains. But the fact that the first
flowers shed off is going to have some impact on the seasonal
yields,” Musira said.
Uganda to tighten
regulation of imported mobile phones
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has
instructed all telecom operators in the country to create an
Equipment Identification Register (EIR) for all imported
In an interview with
Xinhua on Wednesday, UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabazi
said the order takes immediate effect, as the regulator embarks
on monitoring and regulation of all mobile devices imported for
UCC officials said
the EIR will help track and eliminate importation of all
counterfeit communication gadgets.
further said all gadgets such as phones, tabs, iPads and
headsets shall be first approved by the regulator prior to
importation, to eliminate all risk of importing counterfeits.
Mutabazi said the
commission has embarked on checking and clearing all imported
mobile devices for correspondence to the international mobile
equipment identity (IMEI), to eliminate counterfeits.
Director Fred Otunnu said after an early morning meeting with
operators and phone dealers at UCC on Tuesday, they agreed to
dispose of all counterfeits with immediate effect.
“The regulations bar
any telecom company or phone dealer from being associated with
any none type approval equipment, so they must disconnect and
dispose of them immediately,” he said.
He said the
discussion for regulation of all imported mobile devices began
about two years ago, and operators agreed to partly sponsor the
purchase of the relevant testing equipment which is now housed
at the UCC house.
“Importers need to
be more vigilant when buying their merchandise from abroad
because going forward, Uganda will not accept any counterfeit
communication equipment to enter its boundaries,” he said.