Farmers Hit Hard by Slump in Coffee prices

3252 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Arabica coffee farmers are stuck with their produce as a result of a slump in local coffee prices. There has been a drastic fall in coffee prices since the beginning of the year which has left farmers stranded with their produce.

Arabica coffee farmers are stuck with their produce as a result of a slump in local coffee prices. There has been a drastic fall in coffee prices since the beginning of the year which has left farmers stranded with their produce.  In Bugisu Sub-region, the price of a kilogram Arabica coffee parchment has dropped from 10,000 to 6000 shillings in the last one month.

 
Currently, local exporters like Great Lakes Coffee Company, Kyagulanyi and Kawacom companies are buying coffee parchment from farmers at shillings 6000 per kilogram.  The fall in prices has affected coffee farmers who had stored their coffee with the aim of selling it at a higher price than the 10,000 shillings that it was selling at last year.

 
Enoka Musindi a farmer from Manafwa says that the slump in coffee prices has left farmers like him stranded with the coffee that they had stored with the hope of selling when the price is higher than the 10,000 shillings that the middlemen were offering last year. Musindi says farmers are now very frustrated because they do not have where to sell their coffee after the board of Bugisu Cooperative Union –BCU was suspended.


Musindi explains that the suspension of the BCU board by government made the union to fail to buy coffee from farmers.
He says as a result the middlemen are now taking advantage of the situation and offering prices as low as 4000 shillings per kilogram. Ahmed Kabole of Bubwaya Growers Cooperative Society says farmers are suffering a lot because they have just decided to keep their coffee with the hope that prices may stabilize in future. 
 

He says they are now facing the problem of raising money for sending children back to school. Johnson Kimowa a farmer from Kigoro in Kasese district says they too have decided to keep the coffee with the hope that prices may stabilize in the future. He says farmers in Kasese are hoping that the prices may go up during the new season which is about to begin. Kimowa says a kilogram of Arabica coffee parchment currently goes for 6000 shillings while Robusta coffee is at 3000 in Rwenzori region.


Uganda Coffee Development Authority however says the current slump in local prices have not been dictated by the international market forces. Pamela Kankunda a data specialist with Uganda Coffee Development Authority-UCDA says that the current price of Arabica coffee is a result of low demand from traders.

 
She however did not explain why traders are not interested in buying Arabica coffee. Uganda Coffee Development Authority has set the price of Arabica coffee parchment at between 6200-7400. Middlemen are however buying at between 5000-6000 shillings. The management of Kyagulanyi and Kawacol-the leading local buyers declined to comment on the variations in prices.
 
 

 

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