Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said in March 2020 report that Uganda coffee exports were 477,561 worth USD45.87M (Shs 171bn). This is higher than the 472,994 bags of coffee exported in February.
Moses Kizito Kibuuka, the chairperson of Kinoni Coffee Dealers and Processors Association which operates in Lwengo and Lyantonde districts confirms that the current market prices are unfavorable to both the primary farmers and local middlemen.
The Bill wants, among other provisions, to reform and provide for the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) to regulate, promote and oversee the coffee sub-sector; and to regulate all on-farm and off-farm activities in the coffee value chain, to provide for a coffee auction system and to create and enhance the penalties.
Moses Bukenya, a farmer in Wobulenzi town council questions why the district is still sourcing coffee seedlings from suppliers in Wakiso district yet they can produce enough. He says blocking UCDA from buying more than two million coffee seedlings will plunge them into poverty.
The bill seeks to repeal the Uganda Coffee Development Authority act of 1994 and mandate the body to facilitate a competitive, equitable and sustainable coffee industry. It will further promote coffee research, good coffee farming practices, domestic consumption of coffee and value addition.
Ishahak Mugema, the Luweero District Male Youth Councilor, says some nursery bed operators used money from the Youths Livelihood Programme to start their nurseries, adding that the failure to buy their seedlings means they wont be able to service the loan.
George Mutabaazi, the Lwengo LC V Chairman says they have launched an operation dubbed Operation Good Quality Coffee around the region to ensure farmers comply with the set standards. He says they will arrest all farmers involved in harvesting raw coffee beans.
Joseph Kizito, a coffee farmer in Kitabaazi in Masaka has welcomed the initiative. According to Kizito, if implemented well, government can utilize the information to provide them with incentives and farm implements that will boost their production.
George Kyaligonza, a farmer in Karambi Sub County says that the revised methods are overdue. Kyaligonza says that farmers with large chunks of land have been sidelined and inputs given to farmers who lack inadequate land and end up wasting the seedlings.
John Chrysostom Muyingo, the state minister for High Education says whereas government is currently donating coffee seedlings to farmers to boost coffee production, the efforts will go to waste unless the challenges of quality are addressed.
Dimintiriya Byobona, a resident of Bugomba village is one of the farmers who have abandoned sugar cane growing in favor of coffee. Byobona owns 31 acres of land, which has been using for sugar cane growing.
The European Union is the biggest consumer of Ugandas coffee. Uganda also exports coffee beans to Sudan, United States, India, Russia, Vietnam, Kenya, Switzerland, Singapore and South Africa among other countries with Robusta accounting for 70 percent of Ugandas coffee exports.
Over 50,000 tons of the coffee was destroyed by Uganda Coffee Development Authority UCDA in the month of May alone for containing diesel traces and a foul smell, Deo Tukwasibwe the LC III Chairperson of Buyanga says.
Elias Ayiga, the South Central Regional Coffee Technical Officer said the affected plants did not meet the minimum hygiene standards of a coffee processing factory, thereby affecting the quality of coffee processed.
The latest figures from Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) indicate that in March 311,747 50-kilo bags of coffee worth 41million Dollars - equivalent to 123billion Shillings were exported at an average weighted price of 2 Dollars equivalent to 6000 Shillings per kilogramme.
David Lukwata, Manager of Kibinge Coffee Cooperative Society, an umbrella association of Coffee farmers in Bukomansimbi district says the drought not only reduced yields, but equally affected the quality of processed cherries.