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Farmers Want Coffee Marketed By Region Of Origin To Enhance Quality, Competitiveness

Coffee being dried on raised beds at Mugamba Farm in Kabarole district. Marketing coffee by origin will improve quality/Business Focus photo

The coffee farmers and dealers in the greater Masaka sub-region want the government to consider marketing coffee by its specific regions of origin to safeguard quality.

Fred Luzinda Mukasa, the association chairperson observes that if embraced, the idea of marketing the coffee by its specific regions of origin will encourage positive competition among actors that include farmers and dealers, which will enhance quality and productivity hence earning the country more foreign exchange.

According to Luzinda, the country’s coffee produce is marketed and exported as national aggregations which leaves room for unscrupulous dealers to compromise the quality standards, hence affecting the country’s reputation on the international market.

Luzinda explains that identifying and marketing the coffee by its origin will help Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), as a regulator to effectively track all coffee dealers because their operations will now be well-guided based on regions and coffee varieties.

He indicates that they have formally presented the idea to UCDA for consideration, and to the Ministry of Agriculture, asking them to put in place the required systems and infrastructures to support its implementation.

Luzinda has also urged the government to directly support investments into highly specialized coffee processing technologies, which he says are significant in the aspiration of presenting to the international market high-quality coffee which attracts a high demand and eventually increases foreign exchange.

According to Luzinda, their association prefers that government directly supports the development of wet-processing coffee technologies within the country, to enable its coffee export produce to measure up to the international market standards, which demand well-purified coffee beans.

Francis Ddungu, a coffee processor in Kinoni Industrial area in Lwengo District says the journey to improving the country’s coffee sectors needs the goodwill and direct financial support of the government.

According to Ddungu, they benchmarked the best practices that have helped transform the sector in the neighboring coffee-growing countries, saying that they also want the government to take up similar responsibilities to better the industry.

Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) says that they embrace all suggestions that aim at improving quality and coffee productivity in the country.

He indicates that authority is already exploring possibilities of building the required technological capacities as one of the interventions to improve the coffee sector and its value chain.    Figures at UCDA indicate that in the last financial year, Uganda exported 6.3 million bags of coffee; the highest-ever volume in the history of the country.

This represents a 75% increment compared to the previous year.   The volume is worth USD 862.28 million compared to USD 559.16 million for 2020/21.

-URN

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