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Uganda’s Leading Coffee Producing Regions Revealed

Coffee is Uganda’s major cash crop, both in terms of foreign exchange earnings and employment creation.  Coffee as a commodity has continued to play a leading role in the economy of Uganda, contributing between 20 – 30% of the foreign exchange earnings, despite the vigorous efforts by government to diversify the economy.

Importantly, coffee is grown by 1.7 million households in over 100 districts. Additionally, the coffee industry employs over 5 million people through the coffee value chain related activities.

According to Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), Coffee exports for the 12 months (Financial year 2020/21) amounted to 6,078,638 60-kilo bags worth US$ 559.26 million compared to 5,105,881-kilo bags valued at US$ 496.28 million the previous year (Financial Year 2019/20). This represents 19.05% and 12.69% increase in both quantity and value respectively. The total quantity of exports in 12 months was the highest in 30 years.

Although Uganda grows both Robusta and Arabica, the former  is the major type of coffee grown in the country, accounting for about 80% of production.

In 2014, Government through UCDA embarked on a countrywide drive to replant coffee in the country in order to revive coffee production that had stagnated at 3.5 million bags. Through this coffee replanting programme, Government is pushing to have Uganda produce 20 million 60kg bags by 2025. This would make Uganda one of the top five coffee producers in the world.

Production Per Region

As coffee production increases, it’s important to look at the different regions of the country and their contribution to the total coffee production. This will not only show how the national coffee cake is shared, but also play a key role in planning.

UCDA subdivides Uganda into 11 Coffee regions. These include Western (Greater Bunyoro and Tooro/Rwenzori region), Central (Buganda), Ankole, Kigezi, Bugisu, Busoga, West Nile, Acholi, Sebei, Bukedi and Lango.

This ranking of leading coffee producing regions is based on figures  for coffee production in Financial Year 2018/2019 which Business Focus  exclusively obtained from UCDA. The ranking is also based on 60-kg bags produced per region in 2018/19.

 In total, Uganda produced 7,049,049 (7.049m) 60-kg bags in 2018/19.

 According to UCDA, Central (Buganda) region is Uganda’s leading coffee producer with 2,454,474 (2.45m) 60-kg bags produced in 2018/19.

Whereas almost all districts in Central Uganda grow Coffee, Greater Masaka is most known for being highly involved in coffee production. The region largely grows Robusta.

Central is followed by Western with 1,726,696 (1.72m) 60-kg bags. However, if Ankole and Kigezi are added to Western Uganda as we know it, the region would be Uganda’s leading producer with 2,637,900 (2.63m) 60-kg bags. This means Central would be second with (2.45m) 60-kg bags.

Bugisu region known for growing Arabica coffee comes third. The region produced  675,850 bags in 2018/19.

It is closely followed by Busoga having produced  672,281 bags in the year under review.

In 5th position is Ankole region that produced  625,655 bags of coffee in 2018/19. It is followed by Kigezi. The region that largely grows Arabica type of coffee produced  285,576 bags in the year under review.

West Nile comes 7th after producing  228,126 bags. In 8th position is Sebei with 205,283 bags produced in the period under review.

It is followed by Lango region that recorded 110,465  bags.

Acholi and Bukedi  complete the 11 coffee producing regions of Uganda with 46,888 and 17,756 bags respectively.

It is important to note that some regions such as Acholi, Bukedi, West Nile and Lango have embarked on serious coffee farming in recent years.

Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

3 thoughts on “Uganda’s Leading Coffee Producing Regions Revealed

  1. moses Tumusiime

    thiss is good content however we need the most recent stats

  2. Apolo Kaggwa

    As expected, Buganda’s coffee productivity ranks above every single region in the whole country. In other words, without Buganda, Uganda as a whole would never be the second coffee producing country in Africa after Ethiopia. Since Ethiopia’s coffee is predominantly Arabica, yet Robusta, which dominates in Buganda, comprises 80% of the of the entire country’s production, it follows that Buganda is the top producer of Robusta coffee in the entire African continent. Given that the population of the Kingdom of Buganda is 11 million or approximately 28% of the entire population of Uganda, this is a commendable achievement indeed.

    • Oneka kenneth

      How about if Ankole is removed will Uganda still be a top exporter of coffee? No. So Western Uganda leads in coffee production.

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