Eight new disease-resistant coffee varieties developed by the national agricultural laboratories in Kawanda have not been multiplied or distributed to farmers because of lack of funds.
Erostus Nsubuga, chairperson of the National Crop Resources Research Institute, says the coffee varieties, named Kituuza Robusta 1-7, are resistant to coffee wilt disease.
Coffee wilt disease which nearly wiped out clonal coffee stocks in the country in about 10 years ago. The disease affected 55 percent of Robusta coffee trees.
Nsubuga says research into the new varieties have provided hope for the Uganda coffee sector. He however explains that for the disease to be combated, the eight varieties need to be multiplied into 200 million coffee trees over the next five years.
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Before the coffee wilt disease struck in the late 1990's Uganda exported an average of five million bags of coffee to mainly European Union countries. This year has shown a marked improvement of 3.2 million bags from up 2.5 million in 2007.
The coffee sector contributes about 30 percent to the economy's earnings.