Although coffee exports have improved both in volume and value this month, experts say the country has more work to do to compete internationally.
Statistics from Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) for August, the eleventh month on the coffee calendar, show there was a 7.7 per cent and 10 per cent increase in both volume and value, respectively.
According to the UCDA report released early this week, Uganda exported a total of 291,059 bags (of 60 Kilogrammes) of coffee up from 268,000 exported in July.
Out of these exports, the country earned $30 million (Shs102 billion) in revenue. This was up from $27 million (Shs91 billion) earned in July.
“There was an increase of Shs11 billion in the value the country earned and this was largely attributed to the increase in the global prices of the world’s second trading commodity,” the UCDA report stated.
Reacting to the performance, Mr Gerald Ssendaula, the chairman of the National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises, said: “Whatever the figure or increase is, those are just a drop in the ocean compared to what the country would be getting if the coffee law which enforce proper handling of the crop is in place.”
“Climate change plays a part in our low production compared to the global demand, but we have got to ensure that human errors are eliminated. This will help us earn three times more than what we earn today,” he added.
The farmers presented all the documents regarding their demand for the new law to the government through the Ministry of Agriculture.
They want the Uganda Coffee Development Authority Statute 1991 (UCDA Statute) to be scrapped and replaced with a more comprehensive law, which they suggest will be known as the Coffee Act.
Experts say if the legislation is implemented, it will regulate not only coffee farmers but also traders and handlers.
Meanwhile, Uganda will join the rest of the world to celebrate International Coffee Day on October 6, a global celebration of coffee’s journey from the coffee farm to your local coffee shop.