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Uganda passes coffee farming law to boost quality

Uganda passed a new law aimed at regulating coffee-growing to help improve the quality of beans for its key export commodity.

The National Coffee Bill will control “on-farm activities like planting material, nurseries, harvesting and post-harvest handling” in addition to marketing and processing, which the existing three-decade law handles, the Kampala-based parliament said in a statement on its website.

Under the new law, all coffee farmers will be registered and given identification numbers indicating the size of their land and number of trees, coffee buyers, sellers and nursery bed operators, according to the statement. It now awaits assent by the country’s president.

The legislation “aims at reforming the law to provide for Uganda Coffee Development Authority to regulate, promote and oversee the coffee sub-sector and to regulate all on-farm and off-farm activities in the coffee value chain,” parliament said.

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It will also help link farmers and buyers, setting up irrigation systems, provision of planting materials and extension services, parliament said.

Coffee, together with gold, are the East African country’s top commodity-export earners, according to the Finance Ministry. Foreign shipments in the nine months through June amounted to 3.79 million 60-kilogram bags, according to the Uganda UCDA. The country is expected to produce more than 7.1 million bags in the year through September.

Source: Bloomberg

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