Government Chief Whip implores North to embrace coffee to get out of economic slumber

The Government Chief Whip, Hon. Hamson Obua has pledged to work with UCDA to promote coffee growing in non-traditional coffee-growing regions such as the Lango sub-region in northern Uganda in a bid to support farmers switch from subsistence to commercial agriculture. 

Hon. Obua made the remarks during a visit he made to the UCDA coffee laboratory earlier today. 


“I want to thank the Managing Director (Dr. Iyamulemye) who came to my office to congratulate me upon my appointment but also to interest me in coffee. I come from a non-traditional coffee-growing area that is Lango which is comprised of 9 districts. I committed to the MD to hold the bull by the horns and start to promote coffee,” he said. 


UCDA has a programme to promote coffee growing in Northern Uganda. The programme is part of the initiatives introduced by the Authority to increase coffee production to 20 million bags by 2025, as per the Coffee Roadmap. Once achieved, the country will earn up to USD 2.2 billion per year through exports. 


“I want to take the lead for Lango. I am ready to mobilise the farmers. I will talk to the farmers about coffee on the radio, in meetings, and in other spaces,” Hon. Obua said. “We need to transform the country and, one of the transformational agendas is growing coffee including introducing it in non-traditional areas.”


He added that the biggest promoter of coffee in the country is H.E President Yoweri Museveni. 


“I want to tell you that the biggest promoter, the biggest marketer of coffee in the country is H.E the President, because on several occasions when he talks about the 4-acre model and the list of enterprises (for households to take on), coffee is priority number one,” Obua said.


Hon. Obua added that he intends to start growing coffee on a small scale after the inspiration and motivation for the President.


The President has called on Ugandans who want to move from subsistence to commercial agriculture to apportion some of their land to coffee. Under the 4-acre model, the President has recommended farmers dedicate one acre to coffee. 


In 2018, the President launched a 4-acre demo farm at Barlegi in Otuke district where farmers could go and learn about coffee growing. One acre is dedicated to coffee.


“Why should we have coffee only at the President’s demo farm in Otuke and even people around Otuke are not growing coffee?” Obua wondered. He added that efforts to popularize coffee must be enhanced. 

More farmers are embracing coffee growing as evidenced by the growth in export volumes. Coffee exports for 12 months (August 2021- July 2022) totaled 6.14 million bags worth US$ 875.95 million. This is the highest amount Uganda has ever earned from coffee in a single year. 

According to Dr. Iyamulemye, between 17% to19% of Uganda’s foreign exchange comes from coffee. The Authority has built a robust laboratory to ensure Uganda continues to export high-quality coffee to buyers globally. 


Uganda coffee is very popular in the USA, Europe, Japan, and the Middle East and there is a growing demand among African countries.


“Our coffee is number three in the world and given its quality, it is highly sought after. We follow stringent protocols here in the lab to ensure we export coffee that meets the standards of the buyers,” Dr. Iyamulemye said. 


Ms. Doreen Rweihangwe, the Director Quality and Regulatory Services at UCDA told Hon. Obua that UCDA has 25 inspectors who do physical grading, roasting, and sensory analysis of coffee samples before shipment to the final destination. 


“Uganda is where Robusta coffee originates and the protocols for evaluating Robusta coffee were developed in this laboratory. The UCDA coffee lab is internationally recognized and held in high regard,” Ms. Rweihangwe said. 


She added that UCDA registers coffee sales and carries out pre-shipment inspections for all coffee leaving the country. 


“We run stringent tests in the laboratory. This is why UCDA has been able to avoid product recalls and rejects that have affected other sectors. This is because of our stringent adherence to standards.” Rweihangwe added.


The USA is a popular destination for Uganda’s Arabica coffee while Europe is the biggest importer of Uganda’s Robusta coffee.


Hon. Obua noted that two weeks ago, while out of the country with team Uganda at the World Athletic Championships in Oregon, the discussions were not complete without talk about Uganda coffee, implying that it is an excellent product that has captured the attention of the world.


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Best of the Pearl Competition to raise the profile of Uganda Coffee in International Markets

The Uganda Coffee Development has sent out a call for samples for the second edition of the Best of the Pearl Robusta competition 2022. The deadline for submission is August 19, 2022.

In an effort to promote Uganda’s finest coffees and ensure their visibility in the international market, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) in partnership with the Uganda Coffee Federation (UCF) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) through the European Union East Africa Market Access Programme (EAC MARKUP), is organizing the Best of the Pearl Robusta Competition to select the best Robusta coffee in Uganda. The entries from across the country will be judged by a national and international jury certified by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI).

Quality is one of the most important variables that influence a coffee’s value. However, many coffee farmers and producers do not have access to the tools and support they need to understand the quality of their coffee, improve that quality, and access markets that reward that quality, ultimately enabling them to make more informed choices.

While Uganda’s coffee is lauded the world over for its unique attributes and is ranked as one of the best in the world, a lot of farmers have not had the opportunity to know how coffee is scored in international markets. Therefore, they miss out on opportunities to improve the quality and produce coffee that can fetch premium prices at the highest level.

The Best of the Pearl competition, therefore, presents an opportunity for Robusta farmers to have their coffee cupped and judged by a team of local and international judges who will select the very best and give feedback on areas for improvement.

UCDA will showcase the winning Robusta coffee at international fairs and an online auction will be held to have them sold to the highest bidder.

Uganda is the birthplace of Robusta coffee and it is important to raise the profile of our coffee in line with the aspirations of the Coffee Roadmap.

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Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) And Private Sector Foundation (PSFU) sign memorandum of cooperation

Kampala, Uganda - The Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) today signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) at Kampala Serena Hotel.

Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, Managing Director UCDA signed on behalf of UCDA while Steven Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer signed on behalf of PSFU.

Dr. Iyamulemye, thanked Mr. Asiimwe for accepting to cooperate with UCDA to drive the coffee sector forward. Under the MOU, UCDA will work with PSFU to establish a mutual cooperation in the coffee subsector regarding production, productivity, marketing, policy environment, research and coffee business in the Private Sector of Uganda.

Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO PSFU noted that the private sector is the engine for economic growth in the country and working UCDA is going to open up new opportunities in areas such as ICT, tourism marketing, domestic consumption and finance. He added that the Memorandum is timely and a strong public private partnership will propel the industry to greater heights.

Under the memorandum, the specific areas of cooperation will include creation and exchange of information, cooperation on promoting coffee production, processing, domestic consumption and marketing in the private sector in Uganda and its membership.

Other areas include promotion and improvement in the marketing of coffee, including developing digital marketing platforms, with a view of optimizing efficiency and job creation among the youth; promoting domestic consumption of coffee in the private sector; promotion of coffee tourism and promotion of internationally accepted standards and quality of coffee to enhance its competitiveness.

UCDA will also work with PSFU to influence and lobby areas of mutual interest and pursue legal, regulatory and policy changes in the coffee value chain.

The two entities also agreed to raise private sector awareness about the value of coffee to the economy and household livelihood.

PSFU is an umbrella body for the private sector made up of 298 Business associations, Corporate bodies and the major Public Sector Agencies that support private sector growth in Uganda.

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3 September 2021, Kampala – The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), Uganda Coffee Federation (UCF), and the International Trade Centre (ITC) are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural “Best of the Pearl” Robusta Coffee Competition in Uganda. The competition run from 24th - 26th August 2021 at the UCDA Coffee Quality Laboratory. It will be an annual competition that will be used to identify high quality producers.

Thirty coffees were cupped, graded and analysed by a panel of qualified and experienced local judges namely Clare Rwakatogoro (Head Judge), Raphael Wafoyo, Gail Mawocha, Godfrey Rwanshenyi and Peter Bwengye. The judges used the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) Fine Robusta score sheet and protocols to identify and select the best Robusta coffees from Uganda across the entire coffee value chain.

After three rounds of cupping in each of the washed and natural categories the winners emerged as follows: Washed: ZIGOTI COFFEE WORKS with a score of 86.15 Naturals: ANKOLE COFFEE PRODUCERS COOPERATIVE UNION with a score of 85.85

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