The Ugandan government has been cautioned to find ways how to sustain the country’s coffee industry, which is threatened by the changes in the climate patterns globally.
Uganda is one of the coffee producers worldwide, however, if no intervention is put up to sustain the production of this major cash crop, the position might be lost.
This warning was passed by the World Sustainability Organization, saying that research has established that the year 2023 has challenged coffee production in Uganda because of the unpredictable weather patterns of too much rain in some parts, and prolonged drought in others.
According to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, coffee exports in 2021/22 stood at 6.26 million bags amounting to 862.28 million dollars that the country earned.
However, due to the changing climate, WSO is concerned about the sustainability of this major foreign exchange earner to the country Paolo Bray, the Director World Sustainability Organization says that there is a need to train farmers on how to use sustainable farming practices as well as the benefits of the same.
Bray, says that with proper sustainable farming methods such as irrigation, streamlined agro-input, care for the coffee, as well as proper harvesting methods, the farmers can beat some of the climate challenges.
According to him, educating other farmers should be urgent before the worst comes to worst. “Immediate action must be taken to mitigate adverse effects because if not so, the effects can potentially cut output to around 5.5 million bags in 2023 causing Uganda to lose its position,” he said.
Reports show that in some parts of the country for example the Acholi sub-region, coffee production has not risen from the 500,000 bags produced in 2020, and this is attributed to the changes in the weather pattern and poor farming methods In response to prevent the problem from escalating, some farmers like in western Uganda, call for targeted tree planting to provide shade to the coffee plantation in times of a dry spell, as well as irrigation to sustain production.
Coffee production, is also are risk of poor soil conservation methods, and fake agro inputs like presides, among other poor farming techniques.