Coffee growers in Kyenjojo district are struggling to earn from
the business due to pests and diseases that attack the crop.
The farmers say the most common type of diseases is the Coffee
Berry Disease, which attacks the plants until they dry up and the berries fall
off before maturing.
Patrick Baguma, a coffee grower in Kyenjojo Town Council, says
that this particular disease has repeatedly attacked his 2 acres of coffee
leading to huge loses. He says its fungicides cost between 100,000 and
120,000 shillings and to him, this is unaffordable for him.
He wants the government to intervene and at least provide the
fungicides and ways on how the disease can be avoided or controlled.
//Cue in: “Kututungira emibazi …
Cue out… boona bagaiga hale.”//
Steven Kaahwa, the Chairperson Mwenge Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative
Society, adds that other than the Berry Disease, they are also facing the
Coffee Wilt Disease, which unfortunately has not to cure.
Kaahwa says that once the plant is infected, it has to be cut
down, and the problem worsens during dry seasons.
//Cue in: “Mubwiire obwomusana bunu…
Cue out… nerya omwani gwaitu.”//
Formed in 2018, the Cooperative is aimed at bringing together
coffee growers in Kyenjojo district so that they can do collective marketing,
storing and processing.
So far, 100 have joined, but Kaahwa discloses that the other major
challenge they are facing is the lack of a processing factory, which has seen
then spent a lot of money on coffee hauling.
He says hauling a kilogram of coffee costs 100 shillings yet the
price of the processed coffee has also dropped from 6,000 Shillings to 35,00 per
To Kaahwa, the government can help the coffee growers in the district to find the
market and even construct for them warehouses where their products can be
stored for a longer period.
Edson Sumbira, the Kyenjojo District Agricultural Officer, says they are aware
of the problems the farmers are facing and some are going to be solved.
For instance, he says that on the issue of prices of fungicides, the
government is trying to implement an initiative where farmers can contribute 33
per cent of the cost and government tops up for them.
On coffee haulers, he says they are planning to construct one for
the cooperative in Kyenjojo Town Council under the Rwenzori Agri-LED
The 700 billion shillings initiative aims at transforming local
governments to eradicate poverty and ensure sustainable wealth creation by
paying attention to the needs of individual districts of Rwenzori Sub-region.