By Joel Ogwang
KYAGALANYI Coffee, one of the local leading coffee exporters, has installed a $75,000 (about sh165m) processing machinery at its base in Mukono.
David Barry, the managing director, said the modern facility would increase efficiency to ensure timely packaging of processed coffee for export.
Kyagalanyi, a member of the Volcafe Group, exports 500,000 tonnes of Robusta coffee to the European Union,, Australia, Japan and Sudan markets.
â€œWe were the number one coffee exporter in 2008, but we face a big challenge to deal with the coffee wilt that has attacked our trees,â€ Barry said.
He was speaking during the closure of a two-week training scheme for over 30 staff of Faulu (U) Ltd, a local agro-loan financier. The training covered value chain financing. It was held at Kyagalanyi premises in Nakanyonyi village, Mukono last week.
The US Agency for International Development has teamed-up with Faulu to improve accessibility of agro-loans to coffee farmers, using Kyagalanyi as a pilot project.
Angello Mukasa, the Kyagalanyi project supervisor, said they had planted 5,000 mother garden coffee trees at the firmâ€™s seven-acre land.
He said Kyagalanyi had also teamed-up with the Coffee Research Institute in Kituuza, Mukono and Kawanda Research Station to try-out new lines of coffee resistant to the wilt disease.
Mukasa said they had supplied 30,000 seedlings to farmers in and around Mukono, adding that their target was a million in the near future.
Rich Pelrine, a coffee export guru, decried the high milling loss for local coffee exporters of between 39% to 50%.