Farmers who harvest immature coffee to be arrested.
Western Uganda – Authorities in Ntungamo district have ordered for the arrest of farmers in the area who are engaged in the practice of harvesting coffee before it ripens.
According to Brigadier General John Tumwebaze the Operation wealth creation commander for Ntungamo district, the practice has been adopted by farmers who trying to increase the quantity of coffee.
Tumwebaze says that they have already ordered all local council one chairpersons across the district and the leadership of the sub counties to have all those involved in the practice.
He says that the middle men who have also been encouraging the vice by buying off the coffee gardens when the berries are still green will also be arrested.
Albert Mugabe the Ntungamo district Production officer says that green berries affect the quality of coffee and must be dealt with.
He says that the extension workers in the sub counties have also been put on alert to ensure that those behind the practice do not get away with it.
Norman Musika Norman the chairperson for Ntungamo coffee farmers and traders Cooperatives union says that the directive by the authorities is timely since the coffee harvesting season is setting in.
He says that sturborn farmers will now be dealt since they have always ignored the advice and concerns raised by those who would want to the quality of coffee improved as wells as its price.
Lauben Kishaija Rwakoote the chairperson of is the chairperson of Igoote Coffee farmers corporative in Ihunga sub county says that the move should have been adopted long time ago. He says that some unscrupulous businessmen have been causing confusion among farmers and thus increasing the practice of harvesting coffee berries before they ripen.
Abel Mwambu a coffee farmer in Ntungamo district says that achieving quality coffee is very key and must be embraced by the locals who are engaged in coffee farming and trade.
He says that there must be collective responsibility toward this. Medard Kangume a coffee trader says that the move to arrest farmers is fine but including the buyers is unfair.
He says that the traders only buy from farmers and have nothing to do with the harvesting of the berries before they ripen.