Producers here are organized into 28 different producer organization (PO) groups, that are made up of about 30 members each. Coffee is generally grown on 1 hectare of land or less, and producers also grow other crops such as beans and potatoes to sell at the local markets. They venture to Kabatunda to not only sell their coffee, but to buy goods, see friends, and eat chapati and corn, freshly roasted on the roadside.
During the harvest, each producer will handpick their cherries and deliver to the Kabatunda buyer. The cherries are then transported to the Agri Evolve wet mill where they are submerged in water to remove
floaters and sorted. They are then passed through a horizontal eco-pulper to remove the external fruit pulp, and then placed into a tank to ferment for 24 hours then soaked for an additional 12 hours. Wooden paddles are used to disrupt the water and help remove any remaining mucilage. Next, the beans are dried on raised beds until the ideal moisture content is reached.
For many, Uganda might not the first country that comes to mind when thinking of high-quality Arabica: the country has been traditionally known as a producer of Robusta – in fact, some of the highest quality Robusta available on the market – and is reputed to even be its birthplace. However, in many regions of the country the challenges to quality Arabica production are certainly more a matter of infrastructure, history and knowledge than environment. For instance, the slopes of Mt. Elgon in the eastern reaches of the country (bordering Kenya) and on the slopes of the Mount Rwenzori, known locally as the ‘mountains of the moon’, in the Northwest bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are microclimates and terrains that are ideal for the production of high-quality coffee.