Fish exports register 25 percent increase

Data from Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicates that Uganda annually exports an average of 14,976 tonnes of fish and fish products. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • The largest exports remain coffee at 364,298 tonnes per annum compared to cotton which contributes 19,595 tonnes. Tea contributes 75,189 tonnes while tobacco stands at 23,038 tonnes. 

Fish exports have registered a 25 percent growth, the highest since last year, according to data from Bank of Uganda.

In data contained in the monthly Bank of Uganda commodity performance report, fish earned Uganda $11.4m (Shs40b) up from $8.4m (Shs30b) earned in September.

This was a Shs10b or 25 percent increase in earnings during the period. 

According to the report, a total of 1,608 metric tonnes were exported, increasing from 1,139 metric tonnes in September, which represented an increase of 29 percent in volume. 

Mr Sujal Goswami, the Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association chairman, said the growth in value and volume had been noticed in October, November and part of December, building on a three-year trend.”

The performance comes at a time when stakeholders are consulting and discussing the amendments in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill 2021, which had been shelved by Parliament for almost 15 years. 

Earlier, Ms Ovia Katiti Matovu, the Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association chief executive officer, said it was important that Parliament expedites the Bill that seeks to create safeguards for the different stakeholders involved in the fisheries sector. 

“If we are to safeguard the industry for economic development and employment, this needs to be looked into and channeled through the industry, promote and protect Nile Tilapia which is a local delicacy for the increased populace whose demand for nutrition and food security is increasing,” she said. 

It is important to note that the fish export industry under UFPEA only exports about 30 percent of the total fish harvested. 

Out of the total exports, UFPEA contributes 90 percent of realized revenues. 

“This leaves a huge gap between the 90 percent value/revenue realised out of the 30 percent fish handled by UFPEA members and the total revenues lost out of the 70 percent fish caught but cannot be traced after it lands,” she said. 

Fish and other exports        

Data from Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicates that Uganda annually exports an average of 14,976 tonnes of fish and fish products.  

The largest exports remain coffee at 364,298 tonnes per annum compared to cotton which contributes 19,595 tonnes. Tea contributes 75,189 tonnes while tobacco stands at 23,038 tonnes. 

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