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Minister urges Kasese farmers to grow Arabica coffee

KASESE, October 12, 2023 – The State Minister for Agriculture, Fredrick Bwino Kyakulaga has urged farmers in Kasese district to grow more Arabica coffee and add value to it in order to reap big from the international market.

Minister Kyakulaga was speaking during the national celebrations to mark International Coffee Day in Kasese district last week under the theme, “celebrating the Arabica coffee grown in the foothills of Mount Rwenzori.”

“In line with this year’s theme, I  want to take this opportunity to mobilise you the people of Rwenzori, and those from other areas to intensify, the production of Arabica coffee,” he said.

He urged farmers to grow Arabica coffee on a large scale, saying it will improve their household incomes in the years ahead.

The former Minister of Defence, Dr. Chrispas Kiyonga expressed concern over the recent poor distribution of Arabica coffee seedlings to farmers, which he said frustrates production at the end.

“During the recent distribution of Arabica coffee seedlings by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority Officials [UCDA], farmers in the lowlands were given coffee for the highlands and vice versa,” Dr. Kiyonga said.

He urged  UCDA to sort out the issue as early as possible, saying people have limited land while some have planted wrong coffee seedlings.

The managing director Agri-Evolve Uganda Limited, Jonny Rolland commended farmers for the increased production and processing of Arabica coffee in Rwenzori Sub-region.

“We work closely with farmers from harvesting, post-harvesting handling  to exporting to ensure good quality coffee demanded by the international market. We go to buying stations in the mountains and also visit the farms,” he said.

He said one of the biggest challenge farmers are facing is lack of machinery to process quality coffee that is able to compete on the international market.

Smallholders produce 75 percent of the world’s coffee, but in many regions, these farmers earn little from their produce.

The International Coffee Day is always celebrated on October 1, but this year, Uganda, marked the Day on October 5.

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