KAMPALA – The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) may lose some of its properties due to the skyrocketing arrears to farmers to a tune of Shs94.3b.
The revelation was on Monday, January 13 made by Emmanuel Lyamulyeme Niyibigira, Managing Director, UCDA while appearing before Parliament’s Agriculture Committee to present the 2020/2021 national budget framework paper.
Niyibigira said that the Authority needs Shs94.3b to clear accumulated arrears for nursery operators who supplies seedlings to farmers.
He also told the committee that if parliament does not allocate the required funds for clearing this accumulated debt, the owners of the nursery operators who supplied government seedlings would go to court and attach UCDA properties.
Janet Grace Okori-moe (Abim Woman MP) wondered how the government is going to implement the project of introducing some crops to areas that have not been growing them when it has an alarming debt for seedlings procurement.
However, there were calls by some MPs like Richard Othieno (West Budama North) to have the accrued debt verified by auditors so Parliament gets an authentic figure before final decision is taken, saying the arrears verification process will be critical at ensuring there is no possibility of inflated debt arrears.
However, the UCDA managing director defended the debt saying the arrears had been verified and authenticated by Ernst & Young Auditing firm that had been hired to carry out this exercise by the Ministry of Finance.