The National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI) has rejected government’s proposal to register and licence coffee farmers.
They say this will affect small scale coffee farmers, thus crippling the industry yet they contribute towards coffee production.
Government through the National Coffee Bill 2018 seeks to register and licence all coffee farmers, a move many people are not comfortable about.
Appearing before the parliamentary committee on Agriculture which is scrutinising the Bill, NaCORI which is at the centre of coffee research says registering farmers is complicated.
According to Dr Geoffrey Arinaitwe, the director research at NaCORI, registering farmers will affect the coffee target of exporting 20 million bags by 2022.
He says registering coffee farmers will force some to abandon coffee growing and opt for other cash crops such as sugar cane, tobacco, tea that do not need them to be registered all the time. They argue that being a farmer specialising in a particular crop is a choice.
Dr Arinaitwe supported the idea of government helping cooperative societies that can help in handling the issue of these with coffee farmers working with cooperatives.
“These coffee farmers should work with these cooperatives who they can sell their coffee to and the cooperatives can guide them. Then UCDA can enforce the quality of coffee,” adds Dr Arinaitwe.
Kabweri County MP Barnabas Gonahasa said the new proposal will destroy the industry.