KAMPALA, UGANDA – Ugandan coffee farmers called for tougher laws and punitive measures against improper drying methods and poor crop handling at the 2nd Uganda Coffee Festival on November 4, 2016 according to a Bloomberg Markets story.
The National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE), the nation’s largest coffee farmer representative group, believes that poor post-harvest practices are contributing to the country’s declining reputation in the global coffee trade. The group is asking lawmakers to enact laws that discourage improper drying methods and the practice of picking immature beans among others.
The Uganda Coffee Development Authority reported that coffee sector earnings are down to $327 million this year compared to $411 million last year a midst the low shipment volumes and weak global prices for the third year in a row. Despite the decline in revenues and exports, coffee is still Uganda’s top exported commodity and remains the second biggest coffee exporter in Africa.
Such laws should encourage producers to improve their existing practices, explore new post-harvest techniques, and create opportunities for innovation. Being able to dry coffee properly to the correct moisture content can help inhibit the growth of aflatoxins during storage. Modern coffee drying solutions such as the Solar Bubble Dryer (SBD) are a much better choice over traditional methods.
The SBD is a sun drying solution that was designed to dry coffee and other agricultural commodities at a more consistent drying rate, while providing protection against rewetting in case of sudden rains. Combined with patio drying, the SBD can gradually lower the moisture content of coffee beans to the equilibrium moisture content to safely preserve flavor and aromatic qualities.