Uganda’s coffee production has increased by 1.3 million bags in 2017 compared to 2016, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has said. Uganda which is Africa’s second largest coffee producer after Ethiopia and leading exporter registered a 38% increase in export volume and 66% in value in the year ending September.
“Uganda exported a total of 4.6 million kilogramme bags of coffee, up from 3.3 million bags it exported last year,” UCDA records show.
From these exports, the country earned USD 545 million (Shs 1.9 trillion), up from USD 326 million (Shs 1.1 trillion) earned last year.
The increase in production has been attributed to government’s aggressive efforts to interest farmers into coffee production.
Laura Walusimbi, UCDA’s Communications Manager, said; “This is the highest export volume that Uganda has recorded and it is because of the massive planting campaigns which UCDA and other stakeholders have been implementing.”
“We are seeing new coffee planted starting to produce beans, something which has had an impact on the production and export volumes,” she said.
However, she noted that this implies that farmers must get more organised if they are to realize more gains from coffee.
On his part, Joseph Nkandu, the Executive Director for National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises, said; “Farmers have become more organised and handling coffee and a business. When they get money, they re-invest it. That is why we have seen new crop coming into production.”
He added that this has been achieved by all stakeholders and believes that when the Coffee Bill is enacted into a law, the Uganda and coffee sub-sector will continue growing.
Globally, the forecast for the coffee market looks bleak as there are signs of decline in prices, deficit in consumption and a slim increase in production as the calendar closes.
Records from the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) report for September indicate that the global bench-mark -price continued its downward trend averaging 124.46 cents of dollar.
Global coffee production in the year ending is currently estimated at 153.9 million bags, indicating a 1.5% increase compared to the same period last year.
ICO report shows that the not so good global performance was attributed to a decline in in the output of Robustas which dropped by 10.6 per cent from the 56.6 million bags posted.
On the consumption side, for the third consecutive year, consumption remains in deficit with consumers exceeding production by 1.2 million bags.