By Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, Managing Director, Uganda Coffee Development Authority.
Uganda is ranked as a top Commonwealth producer of coffee, the second largest African producer and seventh world producer. Coffee contributes about 30% of Uganda’s total export earnings. The country grows two types of coffee—Robusta and Arabica. The coffee yield is 700kg per hectare for traditional Robusta coffee, 2,500kg per hectare for clonal coffee and 600kg per hectare for Arabica coffee. Uganda produces an average of 4 million 60kg bags per year (80% Robusta and 20% Arabica). Robusta coffee is grown in low lands while Arabica coffee is grown in different highland areas of the country that is, on the slopes of Mount Elgon on the boarder of Kenya, on the slopes of the Mount Rwenzori on the border of DRC and in the west Nile region of the country.
There are currently, 1.7 million households in Uganda growing coffee. Of the 93 coffee growing districts 50 grow Robusta, 28 grow Arabica and 15 grow both with a potential for 324,000 ha of land area suitable for coffee production. Production has risen steadily since 2009/10 at 2.7 million 60kg bags to a high of 3.6 million bags in 2013/14. However, this declined in 2014/15 to 3.2 million bags before rising again to 3.5 million bags in 2015/16. The total annual volume of coffee exports for FY 2017/18 is projected at 3.9 million bags against a 2025 target of 20 million bags.
To read more please visit Page 28 to 30 of our July – September 2017 Magazine Issue