Uganda ranked leading coffee exporter in Africa

A coffee farmer picks ripe beans. Uganda is now the lead exporter of the cash crop in Africa. FILE PHOTO

Kampala- After several months of struggling, Uganda’s leading export commodity coffee, posted gains both in volume and value at the international market, a new report indicates.

If this performance continues, Uganda stands a chance to be among the world’s top five producers in the next few years.

The new development has made the country move three steps from position number 10 in 2014 to seven in 2015 after Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia and India.

Rising exports
Latest statistics from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) indicate that in July, the tenth month on the coffee calendar, there was a 16 per cent and 18 per cent increase in volume and value respectively. Uganda exported 403,381 60-kg bags up from 335,405 60kg bags exported in June.

The UCDA monthly report stated: “Out of the total volume exported in July, the country earned $43 million (Shs154b) up from $35 million (Shs126b) value realised the previous month”.
Coffee exports in July amounted to 403,381 60-kg bags worth $43.07 million. This comprised 349,486 60-kg bags ($35.05 million) of Robusta and Arabica, 53,895 60-kg bags ($8.02 million).

Africa’s lead producer
Uganda is Africa’s lead coffee exporter before Ethiopia, the lead producer. In 2014 and 2015, the country exported 2.44 million 60-kg bags and 2.71 million 60-kg bags respectively compared with Ethiopia’s 1.97 million and 2.21 million.

According to UCDA, in August, exports are projected at 320,000 bags. Harvesting in Masaka and southern regions which picked in July is expected to subside in August and September.