Despite a devastating pandemic, Uganda’s coffee exports have increased in both value and quantity. According to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), challenges across the world included severe weather circumstances, Covid-19 limitations on the world’s top producers like Brazil, and supply disruptions.
The UCDA reports the country exported 6.55 million bags of coffee worth $657.23 million in the year to October 2021, compared to 5.41 million bags worth $513.79 million in the same time last year.
As the primary harvest season in the central and eastern sections of the nation begins next month, they expect to ship 500 000 bags.
The boost in exports can be ascribed to government initiatives in 2012, when millions of seedlings were supplied to farmers across the 98 coffee-growing districts to help them plant fresh bushes.
This was also aided by a rising trend in worldwide coffee prices.
Unpredictable weather conditions, a lack of agricultural extension staff, poor productivity and a low usage of fertiliser remain major roadblocks to enhanced output in some regions.
Ugandan authorities have set an ambitious goal of exporting at least 20 million bags of coffee per year by 2030, making the country the region’s largest producer of the commodity.
Despite certain supply interruptions, international market prices have shown a favourable trend since October, according to the study, which saw Uganda raise its export value by 28% in a year.
“Coffee prices have been going up since July 2021 as Brazil faced the threat of frost and high temperatures, while Vietnam faced a shortage of shipping containers because of Covid-19-related restrictions. This prompted exporters to release their stocks,” the report adds.
Italy has the largest proportion of Uganda’s coffee import market, followed by Algeria, Germany, the United States and Belgium. Sudan, Morocco, Egypt and Kenya were among the others.
In September, global coffee exports totaled 10 million bags, down from 10.59 million bags in September 2020. Exports for 2020/21 totalled 129 million bags, up 1.2% over the previous year’s 127.36 million bags.