UGANDA – A coalition of private sector players, united under the Uganda National Coffee Forum-Uganda are seeking to leverage their extensive network to enhance coffee quality, value addition, and consumption in Uganda as the country experiences a surge of opportunities.
The collaboration which involves the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the regulatory body overseeing the coffee sub-sector, aims to implement best practices across the entire value chain, positioning Uganda’s coffee as the finest globally while increasing farmers’ earnings.
Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director of UCDA, emphasized the increasing prominence of coffee as a hot topic and a lucrative business opportunity.
He pointed out that coffee ranks as the second most traded commodity globally, right after oil, making it an immensely profitable venture.
“If we are going to maximize our earnings, we must prioritize the production of high-quality coffee,” he stated.
Iyamulemye stressed that quality encompasses every stage of coffee production, from the seed to the final consumption, and warned against compromising quality at any level.
He urged all stakeholders not to “cut corners,” citing instances where traders were responsible for the harvesting of immature coffee cherries by farmers.
He also highlighted the importance of coffee quality as a collective concern adding that once coffee crosses international borders, it represents Uganda as a whole, rather than individual farmers or companies.
The director called upon traders and exporters to fulfil their contractual obligations, ensuring the reputation of Ugandan coffee remains untarnished.
“I am confident that Uganda has the potential to become the world’s leading producer of quality coffee,” Iyamulemye said.
“We recently had great success in international competitions. In the ‘Coffees Roasted At Origin’ Competition in Paris, France, we secured the third position. Thirteen Ugandan coffee brands emerged as winners among nearly 200 exceptional coffees from 25 countries across four continents.”
Eng. Francis Wakabi, a farmer and representative from the National Coffee Forum-Uganda, highlighted the forum’s inclusivity, encompassing all stakeholders in the coffee sub-sector.
“Their primary objective is to provide solutions that enhance productivity and quality to secure better prices for coffee producers.”
He expressed the forum’s willingness to collaborate closely with UCDA and other development partners, with a primary focus on quality, quantity, and price.
In addition, he assured that efforts to formalize the forum which currently boasts over 500 members are underway.
He also mentioned that the group has been organizing on-farm training sessions with a substantial turnout, particularly in regions with an information gap in coffee agronomy.