COFFEE: Uganda's dollar-earning export

Uganda’s coffee exports for April 2017 dropped by 20.4 per cent  to 326,232 60 kilograms-bags, compared to 409,916 bags exported in March, earning the country the US $39.36 million in foreign exchange, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority says in its latest report released June.

The year-on-year figures show that 326,232 bags exported in April this year, were barely more than the 326,793 exported in the same month last year.

The decline in April coffee exports meant that the country earned US $39.36 million, less than the US $50.44 million it earned in March this year, which represents a 21.1 per cent decrease in revenue.

The decrease in revenues came as coffee prices fell on the world market, with more supplies coming from other countries like Brazil and Colombia, the world’s biggest coffee exporters.

In its projections last month the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) planned to export 300,000 bags which was less than April’s exports, because of the prolonged drought that affected production on the coffee farms.

Uganda is Africa’s number one exporter of coffee much as Ethiopia is the continent’s top coffee producer. Ethiopia consumes of its coffee locally, leaving it with less to for export. Uganda consumes more tea than coffee, most coffee is exported.

Uganda’s coffee is mainly exported to the European Union, Sudan and the USA, though other countries like Morocco, India and Algeria, among others also import Uganda’s coffee.

Uganda grows Arabica and Robusta coffee. Arabica grows well on the slopes of Mt Elgon whereas Robusta grows well in the central and western lowlands. However, it exports more bags of Robusta than Arabica though the latter fetches higher prices on the world market because of its sweet aroma.

Meanwhile, UCDA says it has given out 95.4 million coffee seedlings to farmers countrywide under the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC).

 

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