By Weswa Ronnie, ELGON FM/NECJOGHA, MBALE
Coffee farmers in Sironko district have asked government to resume the excise of free massive spray of coffee to save them from pest and disease which have attacked their coffee.
While speaking at Budadiri play ground in Budadiri town council Sironko district during district coffee show exhibition exercise on Tuesday, Patrick Nabwita one of the coffee farmer from Busita sub county says that coffee production in Sironko and Bugisu land is going down due to pests and disease. He adds that other factors like farmers being ignorant on how to plant the coffee and care for it.
John Nakiwuzo also from Bushambi sub county adds that the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries though sub county agricultural officers used to come and curry out massive coffee spraying ,pruning and sensitizing farmers on how to care and plant coffee which has now been abandoned.
The Sironko district agricultural officer Janet Nafia blamed this on government no longer sends funds to procure chemicals and facilitate extension workers to carry out massive spray, sensitizing farmers on coffee planting and caring.
The district has a limited budget to carry out such activities but farmers should use such activities like coffee show exhibitions organised by the district each year where farmers from different sub counties are trained on how to prune and spray, their coffee themselves.
Florence Mayonga Nambozo the Woman Member of Parliament for Sironko district also warned coffee farmers against mishandling coffee during preparation process.
“Some farmers spread their coffee to dry in dirty places e.g. on roads where vehicles, animals and people pass which brings down the quality of the coffee leading to low prices,” Nambozo said.