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Coffee farmers urged to join cooperatives to boost production, market

A coffee farmer

Mbale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Coffee farmers in Mbale district have been urged to work through cooperative societies to boot their bargaining power during the sale of their products and the production of coffee.

Speaking on Wednesday during the launch of the Fair for All Project by the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) Uganda, the Mbale district commercial officer said that the new generation of coffee farmers have not picked interest in the cooperatives within the country.

She said it is essential for all coffee farmers to join cooperatives and market their produce collectively.

According to Wambi, because of the failure by farmers to join cooperatives, they have been cheated by middle men and they lack the bargaining power and are not in position to lobby for better markets adding that the farmers who operate as individuals, have not benefitted from government projects.

Sam Tumugaluchile, the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at SEATINI said that the coffee farmers in the country are facing challenges along the value chains.

He said that there a lot of injustices suffered by the farmers especially those who want to sell their coffee on individual basis, adding that despite coffee being one of the country’s highest export earners, there is still less value from the coffee.

He added that there is also a mismatch in information and the linkage between the farmers and the other actors in the coffee sector which he said can only be bridged through farmers working in groups.

Patrick Soyita, the Chairperson of coffee farmers in Mbale district said the the farmers lack the right information for better and improved production which he said has affected the quality of production before it reaches the market.

He said that liberalization of the coffee market has also affected them where they are being cheated by middle men, adding that farmers don’t access information on some of the opportunities and programmes that could enable them to improve the production process and hence access better markets for their products.

Tonny Wamagale, the Mbale district vice chairperson said that coming together will boost the local market.

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