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Bukomansimbi Farmers Harvest Immature Coffee to Combat Theft :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Bukomansimbi Farmers Harvest Immature Coffee to Combat Theft

Joseph Luwaga, the Bukomansimbi LCV Councillor representing Kagologolo Town Council indicates that many farmers are becoming impatient due to the high prices of coffee, which has also raised incidents of theft reported in the area.
Coffee berries in a garden

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Local leaders in Bukomansimbi district are struggling to enforce the quality of coffee as farmers resort to harvesting raw beans to counter thugs that are raiding their gardens.  

Joseph Luwaga, the Bukomansimbi LCV Councillor representing Kagologolo Town Council indicates that many farmers are becoming impatient due to the high prices of coffee, which has also raised incidents of theft reported in the area.  

Currently, the price of premium coffee in Bukomansimbi is between 12,500 to 13,500 Shillings per kilogram and unprocessed coffee costs between 4,800 to 6,000 shillings.   Luwaga indicates that the record-high price of coffee has caused a lot of insecurity, characterized by thieves who raid people’s plantations at night to steal the coffee and sometimes destroy the trees. 

As a result, he says, many farmers have resorted to harvesting unripe coffee beans, hence threatening the quality of the cherries and final product for export.  

Alex Ssekigudde, the Chairperson for Kigangazi Town Council says they are struggling to convince the farmers to avoid the harvest of immature beans, indicating that some farmers are even hiding and drying coffee from gardens where enforcement officers can’t easily see.    

He explains that besides thieves, the habit of harvesting immature coffee beans is also instigated by the speculators and middlemen who are taking advantage of the situation to earn abnormal profits.  

Ssekigudde however indicates that they have now tasked the lower local council leaders to be on the lookout for the offenders and report them to police for prosecution.  

//Cue in; “emmwanyi muzigumikiriza…… 

Cue out: ….,,omuze ogwo.”//   

Moses Sserwadda, a coffee farmer in Nsoloolo village in Kagologolo sub-county has challenged the District Security Committee to work out modalities for addressing the theft of coffee if they wish to stop farmers from harvesting unripe beans. 

 

He argues that many farmers have suffered huge losses and the thieves have not been arrested to calm down the tensions.   

Sserwadda argues that the farmers would be willing to wait for the maturity cycle of their coffee if they could be assured of their safety.  

Section 53 of the National Coffee Act 2021, criminalizes the harvesting and having immature coffee cherries. The Act punishes the offenders upon conviction with a fine of shillings 2 million or a prison sentence not exceeding four years or both.      

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