By Stephen Nuwagira
Robusta coffee farmers are smiling all the way to the bank thanks to the current good prices for the beverage.
The beans (clean) are currently going for sh8,200 per kilogramme, increasing from sh7,800 in mid-May. Coffee beans are trading at sh7,800 per kilo in Rushango Town Council, Ibanda North County.
This is the highest price to be recorded in five years, say farmers and traders, something they attribute to the increased demand from coffee exporters and processors in Kampala.
According to Tanazio Monday, a coffee farmer and processor in Rushango Town Council, this is the highest price farmers have seen in over five years.
“Farmers are happy and are hoping the price rises further. The impact has been fast. I have already seen some people that had abandoned their plantations trying to rehabilitate them,” said Monday in a telephone interview on Monday, June 5.
Geoffrey Katatsya, a coffee trader in Ibanda town, projects the price to rise further over the coming weeks on the back of demand and quality of the beans. The robusta coffee harvest season started in mid-April and is expected to end in the last half of July.
Meanwhile, Arabica coffee beans were down, trading at sh9,000 a kilo compared to sh9,500 previously.
Katatsya attributed the drop to low-quality beans given the fact that the Arabica coffee harvest season has ended.
“Currently, the beans coming to the market are small in size and poor quality with low outturn,” he said.
The next harvest season for Arabica coffee commences in September.
According to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority indicative prices for June 5, Kiboko coffee was at sh3,500-3,800, FAQ (fair average quality) ranged from sh7,500-8,000, Arabica parchment at sh8,500-9,000 and Dry Uganda Arabica (drugar) coffee (clean) goes for sh8,000-8,500.