More Coffee Factories to be Closed – Minister

Government through the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and fisheries, Vincent Sempijja has revealed plans to extend the operation of closing coffee factories and arresting people behind harmful coffee harvesting practices.

The operation was first conducted in greater Masaka districts two months ago where many coffee factories which were found processing wet coffee were closed.

The Minister, while justifying the closure of some coffee factories in greater Masaka districts in a statement to Parliament said that the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) acted basing on the deteriorating quality of coffee produced in the region.

“Despite several warnings by UCDA on the deteriorating quality of coffee produced in the region, the coffee processors failed to adhere to the standards put in place,” Sempijja said.

The operation against the harmful coffee harvesting practices, the minister says, follows a directive the president issued in September 2011, to arrest farmers spoiling coffee and arrest traders who buy wet coffee; guiding that this negatively affects coffee quality and compromises incomes to farmers and the nation.

Sempijja assured Members of Parliament that this is a routine activity across the country and that all regions will be reached in an effort to ensure good production of coffee.

“I would like to inform members that this is a routine practice and the campaign is heading to Busoga, Luwero and Mubende as the harvest season comes.”

Sempijja however, noted that Government will continue to sensitize the farmers, traders and coffee factory processors in good post-harvest handling and good coffee quality standards to avoid further closure of the coffee factories and buying stores.

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