A Ugandan farmers union wants a new law to protect the quality of coffee exported from the country.
The National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (Nucafe) has called on the Ugandan government to create legislation that would define crop management methods and establish punishment for anyone who mismanages their crops and contributes to the inferior exports, according to a Bloomberg News report. Some farmers, for example, pick immature beans and use improper drying methods.
Coffee is the country’s largest export revenue generator and maintaining quality control improves farmers’ income, Nucafe said. The group represents more than 1 million coffee growers.
Nucafe presented a draft version of a new law to government officials for consideration. The move follows a decline in coffee-export earnings for a 12-month period ending in September. That that time, earnings dropped to $327 million compared to $411 million during the same period a year earlier. Low export volumes and weak global prices were noted by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.
Coffee shipments dropped to 3.32 million 60-kilo bags in 2015-16 compared to 3.46 million the previous year.