By Gloria Nakiyimba
In a bid to promote coffee production, Uganda Coffee Development Authority has introduced the growth of coffee in Northern Uganda which previously was not growing the crop.
Areas now growing coffee include twenty districts of Acholi and Lango in Northern Uganda, Karenga, Kabong in Karamoja, in Lamwo , in Rututu area.
UCDA managing director Dr. Emmanuel Lyamulyemye says there is a ready market for coffee and the move will enable Uganda match the demands of coffee consumers in China and Europe.
“We have now established a coffee promotion office in China because China is the biggest market. It is a tea country and the youth in China are now transforming to drink more coffee” he said.
On the home front, the authority is increasing domestic coffee consumption. They are now training the youth in brewing skills to become barristers. Coffee clubs have been established in secondary schools while all major universities now have coffee clubs.
“We want the youth to be involved in the whole value chain, from the seedling production, from exports, and also from processing”.
According to statistics from Uganda Coffee Development Authority-UCDA, there has been an improvement in coffee production leading to high coffee exports.
The country earned 506 million Dollars in the last financial year alone from coffee exports as the country now exports 5.2 million bags annually representing a 47% increase compared to 3.5 million bags that was recorded annually five years ago.
“In that regard we have transformed ourselves to one of the biggest exporters in the world. We are now number one biggest exporter in Africa. We are also 8th largest exporter in the world. We have exported our coffee in all the five continent” said Dr. Lyamulemye.
He says the quality of coffee has also been improved and working to become the best coffee in the world.
“Uganda now stands as the 3rd best coffee in the world. And we want to see how we can improve e our quality to become number on”.
Working very closely with Buganda kingdom, UCDA has been able to distribute more than 80 million coffee seedlings in the Kingdom reflecting a tremendous uptake of coffee farming in the central region.
Uganda Coffee Development Authority partnered with BUKADEF the development arm of Buganda in 2016 to mobilize the population to embrace coffee farming working with the clan leaders and other local government partners to transform the sector and increase coffee production.
UDDA is mandated to promote and oversee the coffee industry by supporting research, promoting production, controlling the quality of coffee and improving the marketing of coffee in order to optimize foreign exchange earnings for the country and payments to the farmers.