UCDA suspends coffee processing in Busoga
Because of citing improper handling practices by the farmers, the The Uganda
Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has suspended coffee processing in
Edmun Kananura, the UCDA quality and regulation manager, said Robusta
coffee from Busoga region was bad and was most likely to affect the sale
of Uganda’s coffee on the international market. Kananura said processing and harvesting of coffee in Busoga would only commence after September. But farmers must first assure government that they will not use bad practices
of harvesting, drying and storage
Kananura revealed that since the beginning of the year, 15 tonnes of sub-standard coffee from Busoga have been destroyed. He explained that most farmers in the area harvest green coffee berries,
then dry it on bare ground, which results in sub-standard coffee. Kananura warned that any coffee processing factory that refuses to
comply with the suspension, risks having its licence cancelled.
He noted that weak laws regarding coffee harvesting have contributed to
the decline in the quality of coffee in some parts of the country. Kananura said 23 people have been arrested and charged, in the courts in Busoga, for selling substandard coffee.
He said proper methods of harvesting lead to increased productivity and
the harvest fetches better prices in addition to building confidence of
Bernard Sabiiti, the chairman Uganda Coffee Traders and processors
Association, said the suspension of coffee processing in Busoga region
will ensure improved quality of the produce from the area.
Sabiiti said all efforts to stop the bad practices had failed because the farmers and traders connived.
Sabiiti also said sometimes thieves also steal immature coffee from farmers’ gardens at night, for sale.
William Kyozira, a farmer from Ibulanku sub-county, Iganga district said
UCDA should have sought other alternative means of punishing errant
farmers instead of victimising all of them.