In October 2015, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda issued a directive to accelerate coffee production from the current 3.5 million 60 kg bags to 20 million bags by 2020. To actualise this directive, in December 2015, UCDA in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit convened a stakeholders’ meeting in which an agenda for a Coffee Lab was agreed upon. The stakeholders agreed on potential strategies for government action in FY 2016/2017 pending design of a Coffee 2020 Roadmap (effectively, the results of the aforementioned Coffee Lab). In April 2016, the Prime Minister directed UCDA to hold another stakeholders’ consultative meeting in which a post seedlings distribution and management framework was developed for the FY 2016/17.
His Excellency the President attracted the goodwill of McKinsey & Company Limited, a renowned global consulting firm to support the transformational process through developing a comprehensive medium-to-long term roadmap for the coffee subsector. This was to be undertaken through a Rapid Delivery Coffee Lab which was held in March 2017.
The Coffee Lab identified nine key transformative initiatives that focus on putting Uganda on the path to achieving 20 million bags of coffee production per year by 2025. They hinge on three pillars which will catalyse the transformation of the coffee sector in Uganda namely Demand and Value Addition, Production and Enablers. These are further broken down into specific initiatives:
- Building structured demand through country to country deals, especially with China
- Branding Ugandan coffee to drive demand and improve value by up to 15%
- Supporting local coffee businesses for value addition, including primary processing and a soluble coffee plant
- Strengthening farmer organisations and producer cooperatives to enhance commercialisation for smallholder farmers and ensuring broad access to extension, inputs, finance and aggregation
- Support joint ventures between middle-class owners of underutilised land and investors to develop coffee production
- Providing and promoting concessions for coffee production on large underutilised tracts of land
- Improving the quality of planting material (seeds and seedlings) through strengthened research and multiplication of improved varieties
- Improving access to quality inputs by reducing counterfeiting (fertiliser, pesticides, herbicides) from current 40-60%
- Developing a coffee finance programme with the Central Bank and Treasury to provide financing to farmer organisations (including on-lending) to smallholders), coffee businesses and investors. The Coffee Roadmap was launched by the President of the Republic of Uganda, H. E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on April 13 where he ordered the coffee stakeholders to ensure that Uganda achieves its coffee production target of producing 20 million bags annually by 2025.