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Brewing Prosperity in Uganda: Coffee Farmers Climate-Smart Agriculture!

Uganda Coffee Industry Set To Make Record Profits!

As global warming threatens the two main varieties, coffee growers in Uganda are betting on a type that can stand up to heat, drought and pests. Farmers in one of Africa’s biggest coffee exporting countries UGANDA are growing a whole other variety that better withstands the heat, drought and disease supersized by global warming.

For years, they’ve just been mixing it into bags of low-priced robusta. This year, they’re trying to sell it to the world under its own true name: Liberica excelsa.“Even if there’s too much heat, it does fine,” said Golooba John, a coffee farmer near the town of Zirobwe in central Uganda. For the past several years, as his robusta trees have succumbed to pests and disease, he has replaced them with Liberica trees. On his six acres Mr. John now has just 50 robustas, and 1,000 Libericas.

Catherine Kiwuka, a coffee specialist at the National Agricultural Research Organization, called Liberica excelsa “a neglected coffee species.” She is part of an experiment to introduce it to the world. If it works, it could hold important lessons for smallholder coffee farmers elsewhere, demonstrating the importance of wild coffee varieties in a warming world. Liberica excelsa is native to tropical Central Africa. It was cultivated for a little while in the late 19th century before petering out. Then came the ravages of climate challenge. Growers resurrected Liberica once more.

“With climate change we ought to think about other species that can sustain this industry, globally,” Dr. Kiwuka said.At the moment, the goal is to sell high-quality Liberica excelsa and Robusta for export as a fully homegrown product cutting out the middle man the crops have already doubled the profits for farmers in the region and it seems that the sky is the limit for this hearty coffee strain now in great demand because of climate change.


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