Minister Grace Kwiyucwiny: A politician, a model tea farmer


Gen. Moses Ali [1st Deputy Premier] gifted with a box of Zombo Royal Tea handed over to him by Alur Kingdom Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Vincent Ochaya [R]. Holding the microphone is Mr Edwin Atukunda Beekunda whose company EFOTI Ltd is behind Royal Tea. Smiling [2nd from L] is Minister Grace Kwiyucwiny last year during WENDA Annual Meet. File photo.

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Zombo—20, June 2020: The agriculture sector is the spine of an economy which provides the basic ingredients to mankind and now raw material for industrialisation. Raising supply of food by agricultural sector has, therefore, great significance for economic growth of a country or a region.

Experts would also tell us that evolution began with agriculture. Although civilisation has drastically changed, the sector still remains very important.

In Uganda, agriculture employs 60 percent of the population, supporting livelihoods and it greatly contributes to the stability of the economy.

World over, doing agriculture has not been characterised or allocated to a specific group of people. Both elites and the poor have free will to agriculture, whether on small or large scales; whether for domestic purposes or commercial.

Focusing on Uganda, several known and unknown politicians are not only supporting agriculture by distributing seeds, ploughs, insecticides, among others to their voters, but are energetically involved in it from carrying ‘hoes’ in addition to going to the garden [farms] for supervision.

In Zombo district, West Nile sub-region—northern Uganda, Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, a Ugandan politician, who’s also a State Minister for Northern Uganda is the little-known model farmer—with forte in tea.

Also, a Woman MP for Zombo district, Kwiyucwiny owns a tea estate measuring about 60 acres in Tengo village, Zeu sub-county in Zombo.

Minister Grace Kwitycwiny (middle and standing from left) together with workers managing her tea estate.

Her tea estate has become a training centre and a demonstration farm to her fellow tea farmers in the sub-region. The tea estate has been frequented for recommendation purposes by both district officials and those from the Ministry of Agriculture, NAADS, and Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) because it’s one of the most organised tea estates in the sub-region.

Mr Edwin Atukunda Beekunda, an expert in tea management and research who’s currently managing the Minister’s tea estate tells this publication that the Minister has invested her time, resources in her tea estate and has moved on to support fellow farmers.

“First of all, she allowed her tea estate to be used for trainings, and also currently acting as a demo farm for the whole of northern Uganda, after Lugore prison tea demo farm,” Atukunda added.

Last month, EFOTI Limited—a company dealing in research, tea management, marketing and nursery bed establishment, among other areas, trained 116 tea farmers in Zombo district. To Mr Atukunda, this was a big support from Minister Kwiyucwiny gave to her fellow tea farmers and to the agriculture sector at large.

Part of her tea estate under EFOTI Limited management in Tengo village, Zeu sub-county in Zombo district.

As a farmer with interest in seeing tea, like coffee, groundnut among other cash crops thriving in the sub-region, the Minister, alongside Alur Kingdom has moved ahead to partly launch Zombo Royal Tea—a finest tea brand produced from West Nile, in many decades.

Kwiyucwiny’s background and education

She was born on 3, October 1962 in Zombo district, West Nile sub-region. She attended Zombo Primary School and Warr Girls School for her O-level studies, before transferring to Tororo Girls School for her A-level education.

After her A’level, she joined Makerere University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, a Postgraduate Diploma in Management and a Master of Business Administration.

Career

Kwiyucwiny is an active community leader in Zombo and very popular among women. This is proven undoubtedly during her tenure as the chairperson of Nebbi Women’s Community (NWC).

She ran for the Nebbi Women’s seat in parliament before and had lost. After Zombo district was chopped out of Nebbi, she won in 2011.

In 2016, she was re-elected. She became the first Woman Constituency Member of Parliament that Zombo District elected, since it was carved out of Nebbi in 2009.

On 6 June 2016, she was appointed as State Minister for Northern Uganda Rehabilitation by President Yoweri Museveni, a position she currently holds.

How she enthused appointing authority

According to sources, she was handed State Minister for Northern Uganda position for her past outstanding records. She was selected to the committee to investigate the plunder of Zoka Forest in Adjumani district.

The four-person team, was selected by

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, her immediate supervisor elected a four-person team and was chaired by Hon Mary Karooro Okurut, the Cabinet Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Other members were Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Minister also the Oyam South MP, Betty Amongi and Hon Sam Cheptoris, Minister for Water and Environment.

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