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Uganda Moves To Increase Coffee Exports To Turkey, Russia & US Markets

Amb. Nusura Tiperu making her remarks

The Government of Uganda is considering exporting a quarter of its coffee to Turkey and use the same route to access bigger markets such as Russia and the United States among others.

 

Uganda’s Ambassador to Turkey, Nusurah Tiperu, last Thursday met with players along the coffee value chain at Serena Hotel in Kampala to brainstorm on how to increase the country’s coffee exports to Turkey and other key markets.

Tiperu noted that while the aroma of Ugandan coffee dominates major supermarkets in Turkey, they are not labeled as Ugandan. This, she said, is because Ugandan exporters do not have agents or partners in Turkey.

“There is nothing labeled as Ugandan. They tell you its from Mexico but the aroma is as though it is from Mbale,” said Tiperu.

She said Turkey is a big meeting block and that Russians or American businesses easily meet in Turkey than any other place.

Tiperu said that if Ugandan exporters want the country’s coffee to end up in the world, they should consider using Turkey as its exit route.

She tipped exporters that Turkish business people believe in joint ventures and business to business opportunities among forms of partnerships.

“I will ensure that Ugandan coffee enters Turkey,” Tiperu pledged.

She also asked UCDA to work with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fishers (MAAIF) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to consider working on a legal framework for Uganda to have a quarter of its coffee going to Turkey.

Amb. Nusura Tiperu (2nd Right) interacting with UCDA officials

In 2021/2022, Uganda produced 8.45 million bags of coffee. In 2022/2023, the country exported 6.8 million bags of coffee, according to figures from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).

Last year, the value of coffee exported to Turkey stood at US$ 44, 019.

However, sector players say Uganda can earn much more from the Turkish market.

Veronica Najjemba, the Manager Value Addition and Promotion at UCDA, in a presentation on the opportunities in Turkey highlighted that Turkey’s population stands at 85 million while their coffee consumption stands at 1.3 million bags. Interestingly, Turkey imports her coffee mainly from Brazil, Netherlands, Germany and Bulgaria among others.

However, Turkey also exports the same coffee to Russia, Syria, Libya, Belarus and the United States among other bigger markets. Uganda now sees the Turkish market as an opportunity to grow the country’s exports further, and access bigger markets.

“Our coffee can easily go through Turkey,” Najjemba said adding, “Turkey, therefore, provides a unique opportunity to showcase and market the uniqueness of Uganda’s coffee.”

Eunice Kabibi, the UCDA Board Secretary and the Director Legal Services at the Authority appealed to the players in the coffee sub sector to take up opportunities in the Turkish market and grow the country’s coffee exports.

UCDA’s Board Secretary, Eunice Kabibi, addressing stakeholders who attended the event

Kabibi also appealed to exporters to seize the opportunity to participate in the expos to promote Uganda’s exceptional coffee.

 

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