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REVEALED: Top Crops Earning Uganda Trillions In Foreign Exchange

Coffee remains Uganda’s leading cash crop

Uganda’s earnings from exports continue to grow year after year. Despite the COIVD-19 induced lockdowns and restrictions, Bank of Uganda figures obtained by Business Focus show that Uganda earned US$4.494bn (UShs17.1 trillion) in 2021 from her exports, up from US$4.461bn (UShs17.02 trillion) recorded a year earlier.

In 2019, Uganda earned a total of US$4.095bn (UShs15.6 trillion) from her exports.

BoU figures show which crops are contributing the most to the country’s total earnings in foreign exchange. This information will go a long way in helping farmers and potential investors make informed decisions.

Coffee Remains Uganda’s cash king

Coffee remains Uganda’s leading cash crop in earning the country foreign exchange. According to BoU figures, Uganda earned US$718.96m (UShs2.74 trillion) in 2021 from coffee exports, up from US$515.53m (UShs1.96 trillion) recorded in 2020. In  2019, the country earned US$438.54m (UShs1.67 trillion).

The figures show that 6.77m 60kg bags of coffee were exported in2021, up from 5.49m bags in 2020. A year earlier, the country exported 4.53m bags of coffee.

The increase in coffee production and exports is due to newly planted coffee which has started yielding supported by favorable weather.

The positive trend in global prices has also seen Uganda earn big from coffee exports in recent years.

Coffee is followed by cocoa beans that earned Uganda US$105.81m (UShs403.6bn) in foreign exchange in 2021, up from US$99.07m (UShs377.9bn) in 2020.

In 2019, Uganda earned US$77.55m (UShs295.8bn) from cocoa beans exports.

Beans are also earning Uganda some good money in foreign exchange.

The country earned US$101.32m (UShs386.5bn) from beans exports in 2021, up from US$45.01m (UShs171.7bn) in 2020.

In 2019, Uganda exported beans worth US$35.73m (UShs136.3bn).

Tea, a traditional foreign exchange earner for Uganda, comes 4th.

The crop earned Uganda US$84.82m (UShs324.2bn) in 2021, up from US$78.67m (UShs300.6bn) in 2020.

In 2019, the East African country exported tea worth US$77.96m (UShs297.8bn).

It is followed by Tobacco that earned Uganda US$59.71m (UShs228.1bn) in 2012, up from US$38.81m (UShs148.2bn) in 2020.

In 2019, tobacco exports were valued at US$67.17m (256.5bn). The country’s tobacco exports are keep fluctuating as many farmers move away to other lucrative crops/enterprises since prices are unstable.

Tobacco is followed by maize. Due to poor weather conditions, maize yields were poor in 2021.

This saw maize exports fall. Uganda earned US$52.65m (UShs201.2bn) from maize exports in 2021, down from US$92.41m (UShs353.2bn) earned in 2020.

In 2019, Uganda exported maize worth US$78.07m (UShs298.3bn).

Fruits and vegetables are also earning Uganda money. The country earned US$44.48m (UShs169.9bn) from exporting fruits and vegetables in 2021, down from US$45.23m (UShs172.8bn) in 2020. A year earlier, the country exported fruits and vegetables worth US$36.11m (UShs137.9bn).

These are followed by Simsim that saw Uganda earn US$30.60m (UShs116.8bn) in 2021, down from US$35.55m (UShs135.7bn) in 2020.

A year earlier, the country earned US$32.74m (UShs125bn) from simsim exports. The crop is mainly grown in Northern Uganda.

It is followed by cotton. Uganda earned US$20.36m (UShs77.7bn) from cotton exports in 2021, down from US$34.80m (UShs133bn) recorded a year earlier.

In 2019, Uganda exported cotton worth US$58.20m (UShs222.7bn).

Vanilla is yet to be embraced by many farmers.

The crop earned Uganda US$8.72m (UShs33.3bn) in 2021, up from US$2.90m (UShs11bn) in 2020. A year earlier, the country exported vanilla worth US$4.47m (UShs17.1bn).

Taddewo William Senyonyi
https://www.facebook.com/senyonyi.taddewo
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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