Coffee farmers have asked Parliament speed up the formulation of a law to regulate the coffee sector.
The call was made by the chairman of the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) Gerald Sendaula at the 4th convention of coffee farmers across the country at the UMA show grounds on Wednesday.
Sendaula said the coffee policy has taken too long to be debated and passed into law sectors such as oil whose law has been passed.
"Why is it taking long for Parliament and the Government to enact a law to govern this crop? If oil which was discovered yesterday already has a law governing it, how about coffee that has been the traditional cash crop of this country?" Sendaula wondered.
Sendaula says the absence of the law has attracted dubious activities in the value chain, which, if not checked, will compromise the quality of Uganda's coffee and reduce its competitiveness.
"Some of us are packaging immature beans; others bury them underground so as to ripen quickly, some send diseased beans. All this is happening because there is no regulation," complained Sendaula.
He added that if there is guidance in the coffee sector, coffee development, increasing domestic consumption of coffee and the creation of coffee varieties that are resistant to diseases such as the coffee wilt will be easier.
The convention was aimed at building shared ownership among farmers to invest in value addition and dialogue with policy makers on creating an enabling environment for Uganda's coffee competitiveness.
Last year, coffee brought in between $450 to $600m dollars as foreign income to the country and created employment. About 160 coffee farmers associations attended the convention.