Coffee exports increase

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The dry spell partly helped Uganda’s coffee exports rise because it made it easy to dry the coffee beans, Dorothy Nakaweesi writes.

Uganda’s coffee exports have increased both in volume and value in the first two months of the calendar year.
Latest statistics from Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) show that in October and November, the country exported a total of 617,171 (60) kilogramme bags of coffee beans, up from 472,119 bags exported the same period the previous year.
“In this period, the country earned $74 million (Shs264 billion), up from $47 million (Shs167 billion) earned the previous year,” UCDA report showed.
Mr Emmanuel Iyamulemye Niyibigira, the executive director of UCDA, said the good volumes were facilitated by increased production in central and eastern main season which is still ongoing.
“There has been increased production in central and eastern main season which is still ongoing. This is attributed to the massive replanting from 19.6 million seedlings planted in 2012/13 to 57.4 million seedlings in 2013/14 and which have now started yielding coffee cherries,” Mr Niyibigira observed.
He said most farms in the central region had substantial quantities of coffee being dried while some coffee was still being harvested.
“This indicates we shall have substantial coffee in both December 2016 and January 2017,” he said.
Industry players say the dry spell has facilitated the drying of the coffee cherries.
Mr Joseph Nkandu, the executive director National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises, however, says: “For this performance to continue throughout the year depends on if the rains come in the early months of 2017.”
According to UCDA, December exports are projected at 420,000 bags on account of increased production from the central and eastern regions of the country and a good crop from Masaka region as had been predicted earlier.

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