Mitooma, Uganda | KAARO Karungi | Coffee farmers in Katenga sub county in Mitooma district under their umbrella Kajoki Coffee Farmer’s Association are up in arms against traders for the poor coffee quality, which has resulted in low prices.
A kilogram of coffee in Mitooma district currently costs Shillings 4200 down from Shillings 6000.
It is alleged that the middlemen prefer buying coffee from individual farmers who need quick money forcing them to harvest raw coffee and dry it on the ground.
The coffee farmers raised concern while receiving a tractor donated by the National Agriculture Advisory Services- NAADS from the Mitoom Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Williams Kasolo.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, James Tumuramye, the Chairperson Kajoki Coffee Farmer’s said aside from the low prices, they are facing a number of challenges among them the coffee bacteria wilt, and the infertility of the soil.
Precious Rutabanaga, a coffee farmer from Ruhinda says there is need to reign in on coffee traders if they are to maintain the quality of coffee.
Williams Kasolo, the Mitooma Deputy District Resident Commissioner concurred with the coffee farmers, saying coffee traders have resorted to coffee adulteration, which affects quality.
He says enacting a coffee ordinance by the district council will ensure the quality of coffee and will fetch them better prices.
The acting Mitooma district LC V chairperson, Sylvester Tumukuratire says they have ordered the District Production Department to draft a coffee ordinance and present it to the council for approval.