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Arabica coffee is grown in the highland areas on the slopes of Mt. Elgon in the East and Mt. Rwenzori and Mt. Muhabura in the South Western Region (1500-2,300 m above sea level).
Mount Elgon lies in the eastern reaches of the country, straddling the Uganda - Kenya border.
The rich, fertile volcanic soil and subtropical climate are ideal for growing high quality arabica coffee. Farmers cultivate small farms, known as shambas, of 0.5 to 2 hectares (1.2 to 5 acres) at between 2,000 and 3,500 metres above sea level. The coffee shambas extend up and down the cliff faces, making use of natural water gullies and forest cover to extract moisture from the soil.
Coffee is grown on 0.2 hectares on average and is inter-cropped with staples such as cassava, beans, bananas, sweet potato and avocado grown for home consumption. Inter-cropping improves soil fertility, helps prevent soil erosion and provides shade to the coffee trees.
Popularly known as the 'mountains of the moon', this coffee growing region is on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mount Muhabura, also known as Mount Muhavura, is an extinct volcano in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and Uganda.