Economic Areas Category: AGRICULTURAL AREAS
Arabica coffee grows around the slopes of Mount Elgon.The coffee was introduced to Uganda from Ethiopia and naturalised along the slopes of Mount Elgon.
Arabica Coffee production
Arabica coffee is usually grown in mixed farms with food crops for home consumption like beans, peanuts and bananas. It is mainly grown under shade trees that ensure sustainable coffee production. The leaves that fall from the shade trees provide manure for the coffee plants.
In Mbale the planting season for Arabica coffee is between March and April and harvesting is between August and November. The coffee trees are pruned from December to February before the planting season. The trees flower during the dry season.
Arabica coffee initially goes through wet processing, which involves pulping (removal of pulp and mucilage) and washing the coffee beans Pulping is the removal of the outer skin of the harvested red coffee berries. After pulping the mucilage around the bean is removed by use of water.The coffee beans are washed in a sisal made basket known as a washing basket.
The farmer then has two options for drying his coffee beans. Either he dries them under the sun until they reach the required moisture content or pays to have them dried at a coffee factory. The remaining process involves removing the coffee husks, sorting of the different coffee bean sizes, roasting, grinding and packaging.