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Coffee Prices Drop In Ibanda

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Stephen Nuwagira 

Coffee farmers in Ibanda are optimistic about good times ahead despite the drop in prices experienced over the past four weeks. 

The price of Robusta coffee dropped from highs of sh12,700 per kilogramme in April to sh10,000 a month ago, before rising to sh11,700 presently in Ibanda town.

Robusta coffee costs sh11,200 in Rushango town council, Ibanda North County and is at sh11,500 in Kashangura,  Kagongo Division.

Arabica coffee was at around sh12,600 late April, but presently costs sh11,800 in Ibanda town, while it is at sh10,500 in Kashangura. 

Farmers blamed the drop on unscrupulous dealers who they claim mix the coffee beans with foreign materials. This compromises coffee quality and competitiveness, pushing down prices, according to David Kiiza, a farmer in Kashangura. 

Weighing in on the situation, Deogratias Tihwayo of Nyakatookye Coffee Growers Cooperative Society said the demand had weaned over the reporting period.

He explained that the buyers have now returned to the market, which explains the recent price gains over the past two weeks. He projects the upward trend to continue over the coming weeks.

According to Kiiza, the challenge of poor quality has now been addressed, supported by the current dry spell and other safeguards along the value chain.

He said farmers expect the prices to recover to highs registered during the first quarter of the year and in April. 

Coffee growing is one of the enterprises promoted by Ibanda district, along with dairy farming, banana growing and piggery, among others. The district mainly grows Robusta coffee, with Arabica coffee grown in highland areas – Rukiri and Kicuzi, among others.

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