Friday 16 June 2017

Most harvest-money calculations in Uganda's media are Confusing

The Uganda mainstream media reports on agriculture should do the farming money (profits) calculations carefully. Refer to this…/689860-2289088-qknjo5z/index.html 

That story alleges that in an acre one can plant 1000 Robusta coffee trees and that's the base for the profit calculations in the story. This is not true. 

According to Uganda Coffee Development Authority the recommended spacing for Robusta coffee is 3metres by 3metres therefore an acre will have 450 plants if a farmer follows the recommended plant spacing. 

For Arabica coffee recommended spacing is 2.5metres x2.5metres giving 680 plants per acre. So inaccurate acreage information passed to the public was that an "acre of 1000 robusta coffee trees can yield 8000kg per year"; something so exaggerated. 

Coffee in Uganda is largely grown by small scale farmers who are not employing better agricultural practices; this in turn affects the yield. On average these farmers harvest 2kg per tree.

The habit of newspaper throwing out "harvest money calculations" should be triple-checked. Otherwise most of the amounts of money presented is usually out of touch and outrageous.

In the end, this creates false hope in minds of people who look at agriculture as a business venture, and eventually, disillusionment when they fail to get anywhere near the amount of money they read in the newspaper agriculture columns.

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