Coffee remains Uganda’s leading cash crop. Until a few years ago, coffee was Uganda’s leading foreign exchange earner until tourism sector overtook it.
The good news is that coffee exports are continuing to rise according to Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).
UCDA says coffee exports in February 2020 earned Uganda US$46.73million (Shs175bn) mainly from European markets.
“This was an increase of 43.37% in value from the same month the previous year,” UCDA tweeted.
The Coffee body adds that Uganda exported 472,994 – 60kg bags of coffee in February of which 388,646 were of Robusta and 84,348 were of Arabica coffee.
“The increase in exports has been attributed to increased production for the main season in Central and Eastern Regions and a fly crop from regions south of the equator on account of fruition of the newly planted coffee & the generally dry weather which facilitated drying of coffee,” UCDA says.
Coffee exports for the first 8 months (Financial Year 2019/20) amounted to 3,405,748-kilo bags worth US$330.68 million compared to 2,830,600 60-kilo bags worth US$ 286.42 million the previous year.
“This represents 20.32% and 15.45% increase in both quantity and value respectively. Cumulatively in twelve months, a total of 4.74million 60-kg bags worth US$ 459.52 million were exported,” UCDA’s report says.
“By Continent, Europe was the biggest importer of Ugandan coffee (66.8%). It was followed by Africa (16%) and Asia (9.5%),” UCDA says, adding: “By Countries, Italy was the biggest importer of Ugandan coffee (156,911 bags), Sudan (63,040 bags), Spain (53,552 bags), India (30,625 bags), Belgium (19,762 bags) and Morocco (11,772 bags).”
A few years ago, Uganda embarked on an ambitious plan to increase coffee exports to 20 million 60kg bags by 2025, which would put Uganda in pool position to compete with large coffee powerhouses such as Ethiopia, Vietnam and Brazil, among others.