Let’s celebrate women in coffee
Uganda has celebrated the stakeholders in the coffee industry for the last 8 years since 2010. This national event is held every 1st Thursday in October. The theme of this year’s celebration, held on Thursday 4 October 2018 at Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute, is Celebrating Women in Coffee. The theme is specifically important as we recognize and appreciate the women of Uganda that play a great role in coffee productivity along the coffee value chains.
The event was organised by Uganda Coffee Development Authority in collaboration with International Women’s Coffee Alliance Uganda Chapter and Uganda Coffee Federation (an umbrella body for the coffee exporters in Uganda.
As the public authority mandated to promote and oversee the coffee industry, UCDA has created an environment that supports and sustains women’s meaningful engagement at every stage of the value chain from the farm to coffee in the cup. Over the past years, UCDA has hosted the IWCA Uganda Chapter Secretariat, and provided operational and financial support in the maintenance of the personnel at IWCA Uganda Chapter. IWCA empowers women in the international coffee industry by supporting a global network of independent, self-organized, self-governing, organizations or chapters. The IWCA Uganda Chapter empowers women in Uganda to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and encourages and recognizes the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry.
Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages all over the world. In Africa, recent statistics published by the International Coffee Organization indicate that Uganda holds second position after Ethiopia, as the leading coffee producer but it is the leading African exporter. During the FY 2017/2018, Uganda exported up to 4.8 million sixty-kilogram bags of coffee, equivalent to 288,000 tons.
Uganda is also known to be the birthplace of Robusta coffee. Unlike Ethiopia that produces only Arabica coffee, Uganda is a producer and exporter of both Robusta and Arabica coffee. Uganda is a leading producer in Africa because of its favorable climate, fertile soils, terrain and improving enabling environment.
In a February 2017 story published in Quartz Africa, an online guide, it is reported that in 2016, Uganda consumed just 3% of the coffee it produced. Ethiopians, on the contrary managed to drink half of all the coffee they produced. Many Ugandans view coffee as a product for export.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, UCDA, umbrella organizations including the Private Sector Foundation, farmer organizations and development partners are championing the development of coffee activities that focus on women inclusion for a sustainable coffee sector.
The government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, is proactively advocating for, recognizing and supporting women’s involvement and participation in coffee production and coffee trade in Uganda. The Ministry is creating an enabling environment for increasing employment opportunities and productivity for improved livelihoods and social security for all. It is also working to ensure that issues of inequality and exclusion in access to services across all sectors and at all levels are addressed.
Take pride in our great Uganda coffee through coffee farming and coffee trade. And go out and drink a cup of coffee.