The national coffee act, 2021
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Message from the Managing Director

Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has grown exponentially over the years. The role of UCDA is to provide an enabling environment for the millions of stakeholders along the coffee value chain to thrive. We have built long lasting relationships with farmers...

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Uganda Committed To Increase Coffee Exports To China

The Minister for State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Okello Oryem, has reiterated Government of Uganda’s commitment to increase Coffee Exports to China.

The Minister made these remarks while speaking at the one-day Hybrid event, the 1st Uganda Coffee Day organized by the Consulate General of the Republic of Uganda in Guangzhou in conjunction with the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Beijing, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) which was convened with the purpose of increasing the volume of exported coffee and coffee products from Uganda to China.

The event which took place simultaneously in Guangzhou at Guangzhou Jinda Coffee & Beverages Market, one of the largest coffee markets in Southern China, and UCDA Offices in Kampala featured a coffee cupping and tasting of the latest harvest of coffee samples of both Robusta and Arabica coffee.

The main objective of this event was to promote the unique quality of Uganda Coffee in China, create partnerships for importation of Uganda coffee into China and attract investments in value addition in Uganda’s coffee sector.

The Uganda Coffee Day is one of the activities to be held in commemoration of 60 years of Uganda- China relations under the theme “60 years of Strategic Friendship and Cooperation between Uganda and China towards a Shared Future in a New Era”.

The Minister commended the efforts of Uganda’s Consulate in Guangzhou and Embassy in Beijing for convening this event noting that this is in fulfillment of the Ministry’s deliberate policy to pursue Economic and Commercial Diplomacy in a bid to strengthen bilateral trade with China.

Hon. Oyrem informed that H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, directed the Uganda Coffee Development Authority to accelerate the coffee production from 3.5M 60kg to 20M by 2025. He affirmed that engagements like these will afford a necessary platform to explore the different ways on how this can be achieved.

The Minister further noted that Ugandan coffee is now ranked 3rd globally in terms of quality and Government is looking at ways of supporting the private sector to penetrate the Chinese market which will give the farmer a good place in the global trade.

H.E. Zhang Lizhong the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda lauded the excellent bilateral relations between China and Uganda. He further commended the efforts of the Uganda Consulate and Embassy in China and the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) for organizing this event to promote coffee exports from Uganda to China.

The Ambassador further reiterated Government of China’s commitment to increase bilateral trade and informed that one of the ways to achieve this is through increased export of Uganda’s coffee which has a unique taste and flavor loved by a significant percentage of Chinese people.

He also informed of the commitment of the Chinese Embassy in Uganda to continue offering UCDA technical support to achieve this common goal for the mutual benefit of both parties.

Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director at Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), revealed that “Uganda is coming to China in a big way.” He further informed that Uganda’s coffee first arrived in China in 2003 and today’s event is one of the activities aimed at finding ways of how Ugandan coffee can penetrate the Chinese market.

He added that Uganda’s coffee roadmap of increasing coffee production from 3.5m bags to 20m bags by 2030 has been informed by lessons worldwide in terms of the market. He highlighted that “For China, UCDA is looking at a structured approach to offset the imports deficit through increased export volumes of coffee with a focus on high-quality specialty.

Amb. Fred Mugisha, the Acting Ambassador to China appreciated Minister Hon. Okello Oryem and H.E. Zhang Lizhong the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda for gracing the function as well as reiterating commitment to increase coffee exports to the Republic of China.

In his remarks, Ambassador Fred Mugisha hailed the good relations between Uganda and China. He thanked Mr. Cai Shuqiang and his team for the support and collaboration in organizing the Uganda Coffee Day in Guangzhou under the theme“60 years of Strategic Friendship and Cooperation between Uganda and China towards a Shared Future in a New Era”

He highlighted that Memorandum of Understanding between Uganda and the People’s Republic of China gives Ugandan coffee access to the Chinese market. He encouraged coffee exporters to take advantage of this MOU to increase coffee exports to China.

Mr. Cai Shuqiang, the President of the Jinda Coffee Market in Guangzhou, thanked the staff of Uganda’s Consulate and Embassy in China and the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) for organizing this event the 1st Uganda Coffee Day in Guangzhou.

The President underscored the enormous potential for Uganda coffee in China. He expressed commitment to partner with UCDA and any other willing Ugandan Coffee exporting company in the exportation of Uganda coffee to China. He further emphasized that he would organize and lead a delegation of Chinese Investors to Uganda to explore more opportunities in the coffee sector once the COVID-19 restrictions on travel in  China are reviewed.

According to statistics from UCDA China’s coffee market is estimated at US$11.5bn in annual sales and is expected to grow by 10% in the next five years. Additionally, Coffee consumption in China is growing at between 15%-20% annually. With the increasing volumes of organically grown coffee, Uganda has an advantage over other African countries to capture the China coffee market.

The event attracted key players in the coffee sector i.e coffee importers & exporters, traders, roasters, dealers in coffee machinery & related equipment, media practitioners and relevant Government departments. It was concluded with an award prize-giving ceremony for Uganda’s best coffees in cupping and tasting presided over by Mr. Jacky Lee Judge and Panel Chief in Guangzhou. The following coffee brands won different prizes with Sipi falls Natural Anaerobic from Kawacom (U) Ltd winning followed by Natural from Mountain Harvest and  Mt Elgon UTZ AAA washed Arabica coffee.

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Agriculture State Minister Commends Uganda Team At Expo 2020 Dubai

Hon. Fred Kyakulaga Bwino, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has urged Uganda’s representatives at Expo 2020 in Dubai to pursue the leads generated to the end to ensure the country benefits from the experience of participating in the six-month long event.

The Minister was in Dubai to attend the Agricultural Thematic Week at Expo 2020. He appreciated the stakeholders present and commended them highly for representing Uganda in their different capacities and urged them to pick lessons they can use to transform their respective sectors back home.

“We should not just come to the Expo, stay for six months and go back [with nothing to show for it],” he told stakeholders at the Uganda pavilion. “We should at our various levels seriously think how much we can emulate this and benefit from it; how much was invested and how much has been recovered.”

Expo 2020 began on 1st October 2021 and will run till 31st March 2022.

According to Dr. Sam Omara, the Deputy Commissioner General of the Uganda pavilion, the country has exceeded its target of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth 4 billion shillings to Uganda by the end of the expo.

“The target of our participation at Expo 2020 was to attract FDI worth 4 billion shillings to Uganda by the end of the 6 months but as I speak now we have so far surpassed that by over 500 million shillings,” Dr. Omara said.

He revealed that there are several projects still underway and the figure is likely to go higher.

The most sought after agricultural products according to the pavilion director, Mr. J. B. Lwere, are coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables, among others. The exposure Uganda coffee has received at Expo 2020 is expected to increase exports to the region with several expressions of interest being received at the pavilion daily.

Coffee exports to the Middle East have been on the rise. In FY 2020/21, Uganda exported 127,519 60 kg bags of coffee compared to 82,249 bags the previous year.

According to Uganda Coffee Development Authority’s representative at the pavilion, Ms. Judith Engena, visitors appreciate Uganda’s coffee and have given it positive reviews. Engena said they have received several expressions of interest in both Arabica and Robusta coffee which they believe will translate into actual sales.

The Minister encouraged all present to work together to raise the country’s flag and move the nation forward and urged the stakeholders to ensure consistency in quality, quantity and volume of their products.

“The [export] opportunities are immense; we simply cannot exhaust the demand. The issues are well articulated regarding consistency in value and on volumes,” the Minister stated before adding, “The key driver in this is the Government. We will come up with a way to handle the entire value chain and segment the various markets.”

Picking up on issues raised in the meeting regarding quality and product packaging, Onzimai of PSFU informed the meeting that his organisation can provide solutions if they have the necessary information on what is required. He suggested that a team made up of representatives from the different stakeholders be commissioned to solve non-capital expenditure (non-CAPEX) issues.

“We have latitude to address non-CAPEX issues such as designing packaging, for companies to get certifications to access the markets, bringing products to the markets and building market linkages,” Onzimai said.

Also present at the meeting were Ambassador Elly Kamahungye Kafeero and Brain Mwanika from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Daniel Onzimai, an investment specialist from Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Lawrence Oketcho the director trade information at Uganda Export Promotions Board, private sector players and a team from Uganda Coffee Development Authority.

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UCDA launches campaign to stump old coffee trees and distribute fertilizers to coffee farmers countrywide

Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has launched a campaign to stump old coffee trees and rehabilitate abandoned coffee gardens across the country to help increase productivity. 

Under the campaign, UCDA will train farmers on good agricultural practices (GAPS) such as stumping overgrown coffee trees to increase their yield. The Authority will also distribute fertilizers to coffee farmers who comply. 

The campaign titled “Renovate and Rehabilitate your Coffee; Every Tree Counts” was launched on December 10, 2020, at the annual coffee show held at the Kichwamba sub-county headquarters in Rubirizi district. 

The coffee show was organised by Café Africa, aBi Development and UCDA together with Rubirizi District local government. It brought together coffee farmers from western Uganda to learn, share experiences, and collectively find solutions affecting coffee farmers in the region. Unlike the coffee shows held in the past, this one was low key as the organisers endeavoured to adhere to the guidelines for managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

UCDA set up a demonstration plot of 100 Arabica coffee trees where good agricultural practices were demonstrated to participants. The practices included the correct spacing for Arabica and Robusta coffee, how to dig a hole to plant the seedling in, manure application, shade provision, watering, bending a coffee tree to increase productivity, mulching, soil and water conservation, pest and disease identification and control, weed management, fertilizer application, stumping and harvesting.

“After the training, the farmers realised that tall, old coffee trees cannot yield much, and they even make it difficult to carry out some activities such as picking, spraying and pest identification,” Emily Asiimwe, UCDA Regional Coffee Extension Officer said.

“We have trained the farmers on how to stump their coffee trees. This is in line with the campaign we have launched which calls on farmers to renovate and rehabilitate their coffee because every tree counts," she added. 

For the past couple of years, coffee farmers across the country have complained of low soil fertility levels which affect the amount of coffee they harvest every season.

To address this concern, UCDA developed a programme to support coffee farmers with fertilizers. The programme is in line with the fourth initiative of the Coffee Roadmap. The initiative aims to strengthen farmer organisations and producer cooperatives. By distributing fertilizers in the nationwide programme, UCDA aims to support farmers to increase productivity.

Last financial year, UCDA imported 100,000 bags of 25kg each of Fertiplus, an organic fertilizer, and conducted a pilot study before rolling out the national programme to coffee farmers organized in cooperatives or farmer organisations across the country.

During the show, farmers also called on UCDA to support them with pesticides and fungicides to use in the control of coffee pests and diseases most especially black coffee twig borer (BCTB), root mealy bugs, scales, coffee wilt disease (CWD), coffee red blister, and coffee leaf rust which continue to lower both quality and quantity of coffee produced in this sub-region.

In response, Asiimwe told the farmers that UCDA will soon support them with pesticides and fungicides to help fight pests and diseases.

Uganda ranked 3rd country with best coffee globally

Uganda coffee was ranked 3rd best in the world behind Ethiopia and Kenya by professional coffee tasters in a survey of the top 16 coffee-growing countries in the world.

The coffee tasters graded 1,229 coffees from around the world that was harvested from 2010 to 2018 with the top three spots going to African countries.

The professional coffee tasters are certified by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), a non-profit organization that works internationally to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it.

The CQI certified coffee graders must pass 22 tests to prove they can grade coffee accurately and consistently by its aroma, flavour, acidity, body, balance and more.

A grading scale with a maximum score of 100 was used to score coffees from each of the 16 countries.

Ethiopia scored the highest average rating with 84.88, followed by Kenya with an average rating of 84.31 and Uganda came third with an average rating of 84.05.

Out of the Uganda coffees that were tested, Arabica coffee owned by Kabum Trading Company in Kapchwora, Eastern Uganda came top with a score of 86.83.

Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director, Uganda Coffee Development Authority said that Uganda’s coffee has been improving over the years and stakeholders need to more so that Uganda attains the number one position.  

“The quality of Ugandan coffee has been improving over the years following massive sensitization conducted by UCDA among coffee farmers and if everyone in the coffee value chain does it right, we can attain no.1 position in the world.” 

Uganda’s Coffee Sector

Coffee is the second largest valued commodity in international trade and most widely traded tropical agricultural commodity after petroleum. In the East African Community, Uganda remains the lead exporter of coffee, closely followed by Kenya and Tanzania.

Coffee exports for 12 months to October 2020, totaled to 5,409,054 bags worth $513.99m compared to 4,465,534 bags worth $435.81m the previous year. This represents a 20% and 18% increase in both quantity and value. The improved performance was attributed to an increase in production on the account of fruitation of newly planted coffee trees and favourable weather.

Under the Coffee Road Map, the Government aims at accelerating coffee exports to 20 million bags per year.

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