A modern coffee grading facility has been set up in Kyotera district giving hope to hundreds of farmers currently struggling to access market after the closure of 200 firms.
Hope Coffee, dealing strictly in Robusta Coffee, is located at Ssanje trading centre in Kakuuto sub county.
Pastor Fred Ssekyewa of Hope Ministries, a Born Again Faith based organisation, is the brain behind this coffee firm.
Fredrick Ngobi Gume, the State Minister for Cooperatives officially opened it today and asked the farmers to form cooperatives.
At least two billion shillings has been invested in procuring the processing huller machinery which also makes ready-to-drink coffee.
Pastor Ssekyewa says he realised a need to provide market for hundreds of farmers who struggled to find market. He says they have registered coffee farmers around Kakuuto and Kasasa sub counties who have also been trained on how to overcome drought, one of the biggest obstacles to coffee farming.
Ssekyewa says his firm has already started buying coffee from the farmers. The firm has also partnered with coffee firms in the Netherlands, Germany and USA to boost coffee production in Rakai and Kyotera districts.
Mathias Kasamba, the former Kakuuto Member of Parliament says they are already excited about this processing plant. He says with the opening of the processing firm, many farmers are hopeful of fair prices as opposed to middlemen who have been cheating them.
According to Kasamba, himself a farmer and a legislator at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Hope Coffee is giving farmers some credit facilities to address the problem of harvesting raw coffee berries.
// Cue in: “ Will be graded…
Cue out: ….exported to Germany.”//
Vincent Semakula, a resident of Mayanja village in Kakuuto sub county says they are excited about this coffee grading facility. He says the firm is giving them fair prices, adding that while a kilogramme of red coffee is now bought around 2,500 shillings by the middlemen, Hope Coffee is buying it at 4,000 shillings.
Ssemakula says with the collapse of Masaka Cooperative Union which used to buy coffee from them, they have been struggling to find fair market.
//Cue in: “Hard coffee is…
Cue out: …a major breakthrough.”//
The opening of this coffee firm comes at a time when farmers are struggling to find market after closure of at least 200 coffee hullers in the region.
Last month, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said the hullers were buying and processing green coffee berries which had affected the quality of coffee exported.