UGANDA – Uganda, through the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), has embraced a territorial approach to guarantee the country’s coffee remains deforestation-free and continues to meet the regulations of the European Union (EU) market. 

Robert Nangatsa, the Extension Manager at UCDA, explained that the Territorial Approach (TA) aims to ensure the entire country is compliant with the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).  

He clarified that the approach does not involve farmer registration or coffee traceability but focuses on making the entire territory compliant. 

Nangatsa stated, “The TA is based on the premises that; coffee production is not a main driver of deforestation. All coffee polygons (including non-compliant ones) can be identified using High Resolution (HR) maps and Artificial Intelligence (AI).  

Once non-compliant plots are remediated, the territory (country) is compliant in its entirety.” 

Uganda, with 1.8 million coffee producers, identified only 50 non-compliant polygons through preliminary mapping. Nangatsa highlighted the government’s plan to develop a code of conduct for remediation. 

To support compliance with EUDR requirements, a Geospatial Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System and Farmer Registration App have been developed. 

Nangatsa explained, “This innovative system is designed to capture geolocation data encompassing all production plots where coffee or related products are cultivated, including both polygonal data and comprehensive biodata of farmers.” 

He added that the National Coffee Act of 2021 and draft coffee regulations incorporate the EUDR requirements, providing for the establishment of a National Coffee Register (NCR) for coffee value chain actors. 

The EUDR, effective from January 1, 2025, mandates that only products legal in the country of production, not linked to deforestation after December 31, 2020, can enter the EU market.  

Gerald Kyalo, Director Development Services at UCDA, stressed Uganda’s comprehensive action plan for compliance, overseen by a local task force chaired by UCDA. 

Kyalo emphasized, “Compliance with the EUDR and CS3D is vital for Uganda’s coffee industry as Europe accounts for over 60 percent of coffee exports from Uganda.”  

He noted that starting January 1, 2025, coffee entering the EU market must be EUDR compliant, urging future coffee planters to adhere to the requirements. 

On February 10, 2024, UCDA partnered with JDE Peet’s and Enveritas to ensure all Ugandan coffee becomes deforestation-free and compliant with EUDR by the end of 2024.  

The partnership’s TA aims to identify and remediate non-compliant coffee plots, ensuring compliance by mid-2024.

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