KAMPALA – Coffee exports from Uganda, Africa’s largest exporter of the commodity, surged 17.2% in July 2020 from the same month of 2019 on the back of higher output from new coffee trees.
The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) reported on Friday in a statement that the milestone was a result of the easing of coronavirus restrictions that also enabled traders to release higher stocks.
Uganda shipped 543,251 60-kilogram bags of coffee in July, up from 463,709 bags exported in the same month last year. This is the highest amount of coffee exported in a month since 1991, according to the sector regulator.
UCDA said there was increased production on account of the fruition of the newly planted coffee, and favorable weather.
Uganda strengthened its position as Africa’s largest coffee exporter with a record volume of 5.06 million bags in the financial year that ended on June 30, the ministry of finance figures show.
Export earnings also reached an all-time new level of US$494 million. In FY 2018/19, Uganda coffee exports reached 4.18 million bags worth US $416 million compared.
The ministry of Agriculture said the year 2020 could see Uganda, already Africa’s largest coffee exporter, overtaking Ethiopia as the continent’s largest coffee producer.
The Uganda Coffee Roadmap, which responds to a directive issued by the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in 2014, aims to accelerate coffee production from the then 3.5 million 60kg bags to 20 million
Uganda is Africa’s second-largest coffee producer after Ethiopia and leading exporter in Africa’s records from UCDA show that the country registered a 38 per cent increase in export volume and 66 per cent in value earned.
From these exports the country earned $545 million (Shs1.9 trillion) up from $326 million (Shs1.1 trillion) earned last year.
About 80 per cent of Uganda’s coffee is destined for the European Union and 20 per cent is exported to Sudan.
Uganda grows two types of coffee – Robusta and Arabica. Coffee is mainly grown by smallholder farmers numbering about 500,000. Coffee contributes about 30 per cent of total export earnings.