Ugandan coffee dealers and farmers have been implored to adapt to the new world technologies to beat the market and other technical hitches, obstructing the coffee sector.
The call comes at a time when Uganda’s Coffee Industry has been embroiled in a number of narratives that turned political and deeply threatened the growth and marketing of the product.
This was sparked off by the introduction of a singular monopolistic buyer of coffee beans in the Country, Vinci coffee company Limited under Enrica Pinetti who the government had given full power and authority to buy and sell the crop.
However, Information Communication Technology (ICT) guru and entrepreneur Timothy Karubanga Musasizi, fondly known as MK Timothy challenges players in the sector to adopt the blockchain technology that allows equity and equal access to the market in Coffee trade.
Karubanga, who owns a 34 Acre coffee plantation in Masaka said the industry cannot keep fighting battles while trade is being affected by the unending corruption and graft battles by what he termed as mafia state agents.
“We need to adjust our ways of doing business in this new world run and manned by technology. If our leadership is betraying us, we are at liberty to jump on the technological wagon and sell our coffee on blockchain.” Karubanga said.
The investor said the transformational role of blockchain technology in the coffee trade is capable of changing the entire game plan in the sector, which he said would stand to benefit the farmer more.
In 2020, a Switzerland-based farmer connect business conglomerate Agtech, launched a farmer-based IBM Block-chain product leveraged to trace coffee beans to their basic source, and connect them with consumers.
The Technology was meant to ensure that farmers are given a fair deal, but also allow consumers access to the growers, and tip them with a sustained consumer-producer relationship.
The arrangement would also provide transparency, enabling producers to trace where their beans end up, but also empower them to make well-informed business decisions.
“I know that the story of the blockchain revolution has only just begun and I can’t wait to see the impact it will have on families such as mine. You people have not known how a coffee farmer suffers a great deal at the hands of middlemen.” He explained.
Born to a peasantry coffee farming family in Mbale, Caleb and Jolly Karubanga whose primary activity was farming and teaching, Karubanga has a clear memory and knowledge about the coffee industry, enhanced by his plantation in Masaka.
Apparently swallowed up in the Tech development business, Karubanga views the opportunity as a golden one that would narrow the gap between the coffee garden and the coffee consumption table world over.
“At Kwagalana Venture Capital, we would be proud to support any innovative ideas that apply emerging technologies to the coffee industry, to me it’s a personal conviction to have a coffee farmer meet the consumer.” he stated.
Away from coffee farming, Karubanga an angel investment group managing partner, also runs a Technology Developing agency, Tim Tech Consult, and a couple of trading conglomerates including Fika Trading Agency, Usama Collections and other ventures.
Uganda is Africa’s largest coffee exporter followed by Ethiopia and the commodity is a leading foreign exchange earner.