Uganda Coffee Industry Thrives with Unprecedented Young Robusta Production

Uganda’s Coffee Sector Sees Promising Growth in Production and Exports.

Uganda is set to experience a 4% increase in both coffee production and exports during the market year of 2023/24, thanks to favorable weather conditions and the maturation of coffee trees planted before the COVID-19 pandemic. These optimistic projections have been revealed in the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) annual market report on Uganda’s coffee industry.

The overall coffee production estimate for Uganda has been revised upwards, reaching a record-high level of approximately 6.85 million 60-kilo bags. While arabica production remains stable at around 1 million bags, the significant rise in robusta production can be attributed to favorable weather conditions and the maturation of robusta trees planted in 2019.

The report highlights the efforts made by the Ugandan government to boost production by providing farmers with high-quality seedlings and extension services since 2017. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions and limited resources, the support has reportedly decreased since 2020. Nonetheless, the robusta trees planted prior to 2020 have started to yield fruits, contributing to the increased production.

Furthermore, the report emphasizes the government’s commitment to enhancing coffee production by improving extension outreach, supplying certified seedlings to farmers, and taking action against counterfeit agrochemicals. Although the support for coffee seedlings has decreased compared to pre-COVID-19 levels due to financial constraints, Uganda has witnessed an expansion in coffee-planted land from approximately 450,000 hectares in 2016/17 to 570,000 hectares this year.

The domestic consumption of coffee has also seen a slight rise, reaching 325,000 60-kilo bags, primarily driven by demand in urban areas such as Kampala.

Italy, Sudan, Germany, India, the United States, and Morocco are the top export destinations for Ugandan coffee, as reported by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA). Additionally, the FAS report highlights a recent agreement between Ugandan agriculture leaders and a Korean quality control specialist, which ensures continued access to the South Korean market. South Korea maintains stringent requirements regarding the presence of the common mold ochratoxin in imported coffee.