UGANDA – Uganda has forged a coffee collaboration program with South Korea that paves way for direct export of Ugandan coffee to the country whose coffee per capita consumption as of 2020 stood at 353 cups per year – nearly three times higher than the global average of 132 cups.

The export will be possible, as Uganda has sourced a coffee quality control value chain expert from South Korea after an arrangement between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Korean Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT).

To ensure proper quality controls in critical elements of the coffee value chain, the knowledge of the Korean value chain expert, Mr. Cheol-ok Kim, comes in handy, according to the Ministry of Agriculture technocrats and sector analysts interviewed by local media, Monitor.

A new report from the World Population Review report of 2023 ranked Uganda as the second largest coffee producer in Africa with 0.288 MT and position eight globally.

Africa in general, contributed 22 countries that made it to the top 50 in the listing, with Ethiopia leading the continent and the fourth worldwide at 0.384 million tonnes (MT).

According to the Ugandan Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP) – the flagship plan for investment and development of the agricultural sector, which is in line with the National Development Plan, coffee has been identified as a priority commodity, thanks to the cash crop importance to the economic growth and development.

In the Financial year 2021/2022, Uganda exported a total of 6.26 million bags worth US$862.28 million compared to 6.08 million bags worth US$559.16 million in 2020/21, per Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) data. It represented an increase of 3% and 54% in quantity and value, respectively.

The beverage is grown by over 1.8 million households and contributes about a third of the country’s export earnings, making it one of the leading foreign exchange earner for the country.

The country launched a 15-year coffee roadmap in 2017, seeking to increase Uganda’s coffee production from the current 4.7 million bags to 20 million bags in 2030 and triple the income of 1.2 million smallholder coffee farmers.

Also focusing on production, the goal entails executing a rehabilitation and renovation (R&R) program that upgrades about 400 thousand smallholder coffee farms, or about one-quarter of the total number of coffee farms in Uganda.

From a public investment perspective, the roadmap recommends revamping coffee research with increased funding and collaborative arrangements with other international coffee research bodies.

In value addition, the ambitious plan wants to strengthen the public-private partnership as good prospects are seen for private sector investments in washing stations, and in producing coffee roasts, both grounds and soluble, for the low-end markets in Uganda and East Africa.

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