By David Ssempijja
Coffee farmers from Western Uganda dominated the high rankings during this year’s national coffee quality competition aimed at boosting courage among coffee value chain stakeholders to consistently be quality sensitive while handling the crop during production.
The annual Taste of Harvest (ToH) competition, spearheaded by The Eastern African Fine Coffees Association (EAFCA) program is the annual cupping training and competition held in coffee producing member countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.
During the recent national competition for Uganda, the competition committee got 65 entries from different Robusta and Arabica coffee players. Kagango Coffee Farmers Association (Sheema district) emerged top of the Robusta category after scoring 84.65 points while the Kabarole district based-Kibagha Coffee Farmers Group Druger under Karangura Modern Peak Farmers Association led the Arabic category with 86.7 points.
Both top winners are part of the 160 coffee farmer association members supported by The National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farmer Enterprises (NUCAFE) in matters of value addition, multi-level quality control and quantity enhancement for more financial returns.
NUCAFE executive director Joseph Nkandu noted that the local and international recognitions the body has attained vindicate the relevance of creating farmers groups that enables easy outreach in offering them developmental services.
Kabum Coffee Farmers Association from Kapchorwa also appeared as the first runner-up in the Arabic category.
Judges the Coffee Quality Institute of America awarded points basing on the physical attributes of coffee the beans (size and defects), roast appearance, fragrance, aroma among others.
According to the information available with AFCA, the program begins with an annual national ToH competition in each AFCA member country to determine the best National coffee lots which qualify to be show cased at the prestigious African Fine Coffee Conference and Exhibition seeking to boost marketing.
EAFCA organised the Uganda competition in partnership with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd and Simba Café.
ToH competition also aims at providing coffee producers, millers and exporters an opportunity to showcase their coffees and compete and learn from among themselves.