The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) in partnership with the African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) will provide specialty coffee training in preparation for the annual Taste of Harvest competition and the country’s first ever coffee auction, a top UCDA official has said.
Edmund Kananura, the UCDA Regulatory and Quality Manager, said the three-day training, which begins August 22, targets coffee producers, exporters, processors and roasters and will be conducted by UCDA’s highly skilled quality and promotions staff.
“The training will provide participants with the skills to prepare and process high quality specialty coffee beans and enable them to prepare to participate in the Taste of Harvest (TOH) competition,” Kananura said as he addressed journalists Monday at the government-owned Uganda Media Centre.
According to Kanunura, the Taste of Harvest competition is a national annual competition held at the Uganda Coffee Development Quality Laboratory in Lugogo.
The competition to be held from 22 to 26 January 2018 requires interested farmers to submit their best coffee samples for grading. The grading of coffee is determined by specialists known as Q and R graders. Coffee that scores above 80 is considered to be a specialty coffee and will automatically attract good market and even better prices,” Kananura said.
“The competition therefore serves to show that good practices can benefit farmers. As part of its mandate, UCDA regularly trains farmers across the country to produce quality coffee through good handling practices,” Kananura said, adding that as a result areas like Kanungu, Sipi, Iganga and Luwero produce high quality coffees.
Kananura urged farmers to work hard to get more and better quality coffee across the board, saying that UCDA was excited about the opportunities that the auction and competition will bring to Uganda’s coffee industry.
“Through these two events, producers of high quality coffees, including smallholder coffee farmers, will access new markets and create an international brand for their coffees. UCDA is pleased to be working with AFCA to achieve this reality for Ugandan farmers,” he said.
“In our first pilot auction a Malawi coffee got Shs24,208 per kilo whereas the world market traded at Sh11,500 per kilo,” said Ishak Lugenge, the AFCA Chairman said of the advantage of good management of coffee.
UCDA is mandated to promote and oversee the coffee industry through supporting research, promoting production, controlling coffee quality and improving the marketing of coffee in order to optimize foreign exchange earnings for the country and payments to the farmers.