The adverse effects of climate change partially triggered by the
uncontrolled cutting down of trees for Charcoal production for a living in the
Greater Luwero region, has prompted the Catholic diocese of Kasana-Luwero to
invest in Cocoa farming.
The diocese through Caritas Kasanaensis which is its social
development arm has in this venture started by training 250 farmers on Cocoa
The investment is supported by the gov’t of Denmark, CAPCA among
According to Rev. Fr. Hilary Muheezangango, the Director of
Caritas Kasanaensis, the investment has seen millions of shillings injected in among
others, the purchase of more than 5,000 seedlings.
The seedlings have been given to the first beneficiaries from
five Cooperative Societies in Kikyuusa, Katikamu, Kapeeka, Semuto and
Butuntumula Sub-Counties. Fr. Muheezangango explains that they have moved to prioritize Cocoa
farming to among others counter climate change in addition to creating alternative
employment opportunities for mostly those surviving on Charcoal burning.
He says they have for long been concerned with the predominance
of charcoal burning as a core business in the greater Luwero region in the areas
covered by the diocese, the three civic districts of Luwero, Nakaseke and
According to Fr. Muheezangango, they are to rally the masses in
the area to embrace Cocoa farming reasoning that it will be an alternative
source of income to reduce tree cutting.
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Officiating at the launch of Cocoa farming at the diocesan
headquarters, Msgr Francis Xavier Mpanga, the Kasana-Luwero Diocesan
Administrator has revealed that he is a Cocoa farmer of five years standing. He says Cocoa is a good money generating crop.
Msgr. Mpanga supports massive Cocoa farming as he calls on the
populace to embrace it, reasoning that it will both be an answer to improving
household incomes and also help counter effects of climate change because a
cocoa plantation needs a shelter cover by trees.
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Luwero District Agricultural Officer (DAO) Wilberforce Ssemigga says
that although Cocoa is grown by some in other areas, not many have so far
embraced it in his jurisdiction. He commends the Church’s move to invest in Cocoa farming.
According to Ssemigga, as a district, they also consider the crop as one of the responses to countering effects of climate change.
He adds that it’s also lucrative, noting that if many of those
engaged in tree cutting for charcoal production embrace it, they will always
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According to the
National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) website, Cocoa is Uganda’s
fourth-biggest 'agricutural' export after coffee, tea and fish.
It’s ranked among
the high-value export commodities that offer great economic opportunities for
increasing farmers’ incomes and foreign exchange earnings for the country.
Since FY 2013/14, NAADS has distributed over
20 million cocoa seedlings contributing to the increased production of cocoa by
In Uganda, cocoa
is grown in a number of districts where the conditions are suitable for
cultivation mainly in the central region, western and southeastern and
southwestern regions, and some parts of the eastern region mainly in Busoga
Most of the cocoa beans produced in Uganda
are exported in raw form to European countries.