There is fear of poor coffee harvests as the season winds up, after a strange disease affected the crop in part of Busano Sub County in Mbale District.
Several farmers are counting loses after their coffee farms were infested by the disease, that saw immature coffee dry.
Margaret Khabeli, a resident of Bumula Village, Nyondo Parish is one of the affected farmers, whose garden was infested by a strange disease that led to premature drying of the coffee before harvest.
The disease is characterized by smoky coating along the stems. She was force to destroy her plantation to stop further spreading of the disease.
Her biggest worry is the rate at which the disease is spreading, which has affected her season production and revenues.
Last season, Khabeli harvested 10 bags of coffee, but this season she has only managed seven bags. And having cut trees to stop the disease from spreading, she says her production might drop next season.
Wandeka Wambwa Johnson the LC3 chairperson Busano Sub County says they have reported the matter to relevant district authorities, with no response to date.
But in an effort to improve coffee quality, government is reviving extension services, to help farmers improve coffee production and quality.
This is in addition to inputs that are being distributed to farmers under Operation Wealth Creation and Bugisu Cooperative Union, which has seen millions of coffee seedlings distributed to farmers across the region.
With such interventions, farmers believe they can overcome the challenges.
Mount Elgon Region enjoys the reputation of having one of the world’s best Arabica coffees, attributed to the conducive climate, but this unidentified disease is threatening farmers.