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Beans of the Nile

The national coffee act, 2021

Message from the Managing Director

Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has grown exponentially over the years. The role of UCDA is to provide an enabling environment for the millions of stakeholders along the coffee value chain to thrive. We have built long lasting relationships with farmers...

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Ambassador Nsababera tips coffee exporters on access to China’s lucrative market

The Consular General of the Republic of Uganda in Guangzhou, Ambassador Judith Nsababera has tipped Ugandan coffee exporters, farmers, cooperatives and roasters on how to access the Chinese market.

This was during a discussion on the opportunities for export of Uganda coffee to China held at Serena Hotel, Kampala last week.

Ambassador Nsababera appealed to the coffee stakeholders to do due diligence on the Chinese companies they intend to deal with to avoid being disappointed.

She also emphasized the need for Ugandans to partner with local traders as this will assist in building trust between them and potential business partners.

“The competition for coffee in China is fierce. You need to have a local partner in China and you need to have your product readily available. The Chinese want to see, feel and touch the product you are selling [before they make any commitments],” Ambassador Nsababera said, pledging to support the coffee stakeholders who plan to do business in China.

UCDA Managing Director, Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, said there are 72 registered coffee exporters whose details and credentials have been captured and are able to export to China.

Dr. Iyamulemye said the Authority is engaging digital platforms in China to be able to upload Ugandan products. Government will pay the required subscriptions and he called on stakeholders to make use of such platforms.

To address the issue of quality and trust, Dr. Iyamulemye said UCDA and Ugandan coffee players can do cupping sessions in China, adding that the list of companies that have excelled in the annual Best of the Pearl competitions can be shared with Chinese coffee buyers for purposes of building trust and quality assurance.

He said the Best of the Pearl competitions have given Ugandan coffee great visibility around the world.

Responding to the issues raised about inadequate funding, Dr. Iyamulemye said the Authority had attempted to have a Coffee Fund but this was dropped because the government already has the Consolidated Fund. However, he appealed to sector players to brainstorm on innovative ways of identifying sources of funding.

Aggrey Tumuhaire, an exporter with experience in the Chinese market told the meeting that the major challenge in China for business persons is understanding the market, adding that it is important to have brand awareness for a distributor to accept your product.

 According to Tumuhaire, the Chinese deal with people they trust and buy products they can physically see.

Nelson Tugume, the CEO of Inspire Africa, a coffee company exporting coffee to various markets, noted that while it is important to look at exports and the international markets, it is also important to add value for better prices for the farmer.

Tugume suggested the hydrogen technology which he says once it is in place and the coffee roasted, the product can take up to 12 months on the shelves without losing its quality.

He highlighted the need to grow domestic coffee consumption and called for affordable financing. The other challenges raised during the discussion was the issue of tariff and non-tariff barriers.

While giving a vote of thanks to the Ambassador, the Executive Director of the Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC), Josephine Mukumbya, said the sector needs a holistic approach to the challenges it is facing. For example, she said, financing alone may not address all the issues around the value chain.

Coffee exports to China have been increasing over the years. For instance, in 2018, Uganda exported 33,000 bags of coffee to China, 66,000 bags in 2019 and 83,000 bags in 2020.


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President Museveni invites Vietnamese to invest in Uganda’s coffee sub sector

The first-ever trade event between Uganda and Vietnam provided a unique platform to accelerate trade, bilateral relationships and most importantly gave Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) a platform to showcase the country’s coffee and cocoa to Vietnamese investors.

The event, the Uganda Vietnam Business Summit, was held on 25th November 2022 at the Vietnam Convention Center in Hanoi. It was organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sought to unlock investment and trade opportunities between the two countries.

In his address at the summit, His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni called on Vietnam to invest in value addition of coffee and other agricultural products, minerals and products such as cars, computers and machines. Museveni assured the investors that Uganda has the best investment environment with readily available raw materials and skilled manpower.

Coffee research

Uganda is set to benefit from partnering with the largest producer of Robusta coffee in the world after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support collaboration and knowledge transfer on coffee production between the two countries.

On 24th November 2022, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries signed the MoU with the government of the socialist republic of Vietnam represented by the Vietnam Coffee Coordination Board (VCCB).

The MoU will enable collaboration between Uganda and Vietnam to enhance coffee production and productivity, marketing, research in climate change and environment, research on varieties and extension services and value addition along the coffee value chain. Vietnam ranks as the largest producer of Robusta coffee with a production of 31.59 million 60kg bags in 2021/2022.

Coffee sub sector open to investment

Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, Managing Director, UCDA in a panel discussion on value addition in agribusiness highlighted the opportunities available to investors of coffee in Uganda including preferential markets in the East African Community (EAC), African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the trade privileges from China, United Kingdom and the European Union markets for Uganda coffee products.

President Yoweri Museveni and Vietnamese officials at the UCDA exhibition booth

Dr. Iyamulemye highlighted investment opportunities in the export of green and roasted coffee, supply of coffee machinery, equipment, pesticides and fertilizers; production of coffee machinery, equipment, pesticides and fertilizers; production of packaging material such as gunny bags for the green coffee and pouches (Kraft or Matte) for roasted coffee; investment in washing stations that will enable production of fine and specialty coffee; soluble coffee production and investment in coffee roasteries and coffee shops.

Other panelists included Dr. Patience Rwamigisha, Assistant Commissioner Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services in the Ministry of Agriculture and Prince Bobby Juuko Kimbugwe, CEO Pure Grow Africa, who represented the private sector.

As UCDA works towards achieving the Presidential directive of 20 million 60kg bags of coffee by 2030 it is important to benchmark with such big producers on strategies that can be
used to accelerate production from the current 8.4 million bags.


Discussions at the summit focused on several priority sectors including agriculture with focus on coffee, forestry, aquaculture, grains, agricultural research, fertilizers, pesticides, dairy and tea. Other broad sectors include ICT, tourism, industry, trade, gas and minerals.

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Government Chief Whip implores North to embrace coffee to get out of economic slumber

The Government Chief Whip, Hon. Hamson Obua has pledged to work with UCDA to promote coffee growing in non-traditional coffee-growing regions such as the Lango sub-region in northern Uganda in a bid to support farmers switch from subsistence to commercial agriculture. 

Hon. Obua made the remarks during a visit he made to the UCDA coffee laboratory earlier today. 


“I want to thank the Managing Director (Dr. Iyamulemye) who came to my office to congratulate me upon my appointment but also to interest me in coffee. I come from a non-traditional coffee-growing area that is Lango which is comprised of 9 districts. I committed to the MD to hold the bull by the horns and start to promote coffee,” he said. 


UCDA has a programme to promote coffee growing in Northern Uganda. The programme is part of the initiatives introduced by the Authority to increase coffee production to 20 million bags by 2025, as per the Coffee Roadmap. Once achieved, the country will earn up to USD 2.2 billion per year through exports. 


“I want to take the lead for Lango. I am ready to mobilise the farmers. I will talk to the farmers about coffee on the radio, in meetings, and in other spaces,” Hon. Obua said. “We need to transform the country and, one of the transformational agendas is growing coffee including introducing it in non-traditional areas.”


He added that the biggest promoter of coffee in the country is H.E President Yoweri Museveni. 


“I want to tell you that the biggest promoter, the biggest marketer of coffee in the country is H.E the President, because on several occasions when he talks about the 4-acre model and the list of enterprises (for households to take on), coffee is priority number one,” Obua said.


Hon. Obua added that he intends to start growing coffee on a small scale after the inspiration and motivation for the President.


The President has called on Ugandans who want to move from subsistence to commercial agriculture to apportion some of their land to coffee. Under the 4-acre model, the President has recommended farmers dedicate one acre to coffee. 


In 2018, the President launched a 4-acre demo farm at Barlegi in Otuke district where farmers could go and learn about coffee growing. One acre is dedicated to coffee.


“Why should we have coffee only at the President’s demo farm in Otuke and even people around Otuke are not growing coffee?” Obua wondered. He added that efforts to popularize coffee must be enhanced. 

More farmers are embracing coffee growing as evidenced by the growth in export volumes. Coffee exports for 12 months (August 2021- July 2022) totaled 6.14 million bags worth US$ 875.95 million. This is the highest amount Uganda has ever earned from coffee in a single year. 

According to Dr. Iyamulemye, between 17% to19% of Uganda’s foreign exchange comes from coffee. The Authority has built a robust laboratory to ensure Uganda continues to export high-quality coffee to buyers globally. 


Uganda coffee is very popular in the USA, Europe, Japan, and the Middle East and there is a growing demand among African countries.


“Our coffee is number three in the world and given its quality, it is highly sought after. We follow stringent protocols here in the lab to ensure we export coffee that meets the standards of the buyers,” Dr. Iyamulemye said. 


Ms. Doreen Rweihangwe, the Director Quality and Regulatory Services at UCDA told Hon. Obua that UCDA has 25 inspectors who do physical grading, roasting, and sensory analysis of coffee samples before shipment to the final destination. 


“Uganda is where Robusta coffee originates and the protocols for evaluating Robusta coffee were developed in this laboratory. The UCDA coffee lab is internationally recognized and held in high regard,” Ms. Rweihangwe said. 


She added that UCDA registers coffee sales and carries out pre-shipment inspections for all coffee leaving the country. 


“We run stringent tests in the laboratory. This is why UCDA has been able to avoid product recalls and rejects that have affected other sectors. This is because of our stringent adherence to standards.” Rweihangwe added.


The USA is a popular destination for Uganda’s Arabica coffee while Europe is the biggest importer of Uganda’s Robusta coffee.


Hon. Obua noted that two weeks ago, while out of the country with team Uganda at the World Athletic Championships in Oregon, the discussions were not complete without talk about Uganda coffee, implying that it is an excellent product that has captured the attention of the world.


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Best of the Pearl Competition to raise the profile of Uganda Coffee in International Markets

The Uganda Coffee Development has sent out a call for samples for the second edition of the Best of the Pearl Robusta competition 2022. The deadline for submission is August 19, 2022.

In an effort to promote Uganda’s finest coffees and ensure their visibility in the international market, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) in partnership with the Uganda Coffee Federation (UCF) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) through the European Union East Africa Market Access Programme (EAC MARKUP), is organizing the Best of the Pearl Robusta Competition to select the best Robusta coffee in Uganda. The entries from across the country will be judged by a national and international jury certified by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI).

Quality is one of the most important variables that influence a coffee’s value. However, many coffee farmers and producers do not have access to the tools and support they need to understand the quality of their coffee, improve that quality, and access markets that reward that quality, ultimately enabling them to make more informed choices.

While Uganda’s coffee is lauded the world over for its unique attributes and is ranked as one of the best in the world, a lot of farmers have not had the opportunity to know how coffee is scored in international markets. Therefore, they miss out on opportunities to improve the quality and produce coffee that can fetch premium prices at the highest level.

The Best of the Pearl competition, therefore, presents an opportunity for Robusta farmers to have their coffee cupped and judged by a team of local and international judges who will select the very best and give feedback on areas for improvement.

UCDA will showcase the winning Robusta coffee at international fairs and an online auction will be held to have them sold to the highest bidder.

Uganda is the birthplace of Robusta coffee and it is important to raise the profile of our coffee in line with the aspirations of the Coffee Roadmap.

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Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) And Private Sector Foundation (PSFU) sign memorandum of cooperation

Kampala, Uganda - The Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) today signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) at Kampala Serena Hotel.

Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, Managing Director UCDA signed on behalf of UCDA while Steven Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer signed on behalf of PSFU.

Dr. Iyamulemye, thanked Mr. Asiimwe for accepting to cooperate with UCDA to drive the coffee sector forward. Under the MOU, UCDA will work with PSFU to establish a mutual cooperation in the coffee subsector regarding production, productivity, marketing, policy environment, research and coffee business in the Private Sector of Uganda.

Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO PSFU noted that the private sector is the engine for economic growth in the country and working UCDA is going to open up new opportunities in areas such as ICT, tourism marketing, domestic consumption and finance. He added that the Memorandum is timely and a strong public private partnership will propel the industry to greater heights.

Under the memorandum, the specific areas of cooperation will include creation and exchange of information, cooperation on promoting coffee production, processing, domestic consumption and marketing in the private sector in Uganda and its membership.

Other areas include promotion and improvement in the marketing of coffee, including developing digital marketing platforms, with a view of optimizing efficiency and job creation among the youth; promoting domestic consumption of coffee in the private sector; promotion of coffee tourism and promotion of internationally accepted standards and quality of coffee to enhance its competitiveness.

UCDA will also work with PSFU to influence and lobby areas of mutual interest and pursue legal, regulatory and policy changes in the coffee value chain.

The two entities also agreed to raise private sector awareness about the value of coffee to the economy and household livelihood.

PSFU is an umbrella body for the private sector made up of 298 Business associations, Corporate bodies and the major Public Sector Agencies that support private sector growth in Uganda.

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Uganda’s coffee exports for FY2021/22 hit 6.26 million bags despite drought

JULY 14, 2022, KAMPALA, UGANDA - Coffee exports for 12 months (Financial year 2021/22) totaled 6.26 million bags worth US$ 862.28 million compared to 6.08 million bags worth US$ 559.16 million the previous year (Financial year 2020/21). This represents an increase of 3% and 54% in both quantity and value respectively, the UCDA June Coffee Report reveals (

Uganda's coffee exports for the month of June amounted to 530,365 60-kilo bags of coffee valued at US$ 83.79 million. This comprised 444,197 bags of Robusta valued at US $60.98 million and 86,168 bags of Arabica valued at US$ 22.82. This was a decrease of 14% in quantity but an increase of 43% in value compared to the same month last year.

Farm-gate prices for Robusta Kiboko averaged UGX 2,600 per kilo; FAQ UGX 6,450 per kilo, Arabica parchment UGX 10,500 per kilo and Drugar UGX 9,500 per kilo.

Robusta exports accounted for 84% of total exports higher than 77% in May 2022. By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of last Coffee Year (June 2021), Robusta decreased by 21.44% in quantity but increased by 21.37% in value. The decrease in Robusta exports was mainly attributed to lower yields this year that were characterized by drought in most regions. This led to a shorter main harvest season in Central and Eastern regions and reduced harvests from Greater Masaka and South-Western regions whose peak is expected in July 2022.

Arabica exports increased by 62.77% and 174.46% in quantity and value respectively due to an on-year cycle characteristic of Arabica coffee production. Arabica fetched an average price of US$ 4.41 per kilo. Okoro CP/B from West Nile sold at the highest price of US$ 7.23 per kilo.

Ten exporters out of 55 companies which performed during June exported 74% of the total volume.

Italy maintained the highest market share of 40.25% followed by Germany 11.34%, Sudan 10.35% (10.74%) India 7.42% (7.27%) and Morocco 4.82% (1.95%). Coffee exports to Africa amounted to 109,506 bags, a market share of 21% compared to 70,782 bags (16%) the previous month.

Coffee exports for July are projected to be 600,000 bags.

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UCDA Gives out Shs 2.2bn Wet Processing Equipment to Arabica Coffee Farmers

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Hon. Bwino Fred Kyakulaga launched the distribution of coffee wet processing equipment worth Shs 2.2bn to coffee processors from across the country yesterday. The launch took place at the Tirupati stores in Kyebando, Kampala.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries through the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) gave out the Coffee Wet Processing Equipment (wet mills) to 35 Arabica-coffee farmers, cooperatives and institutions selected from different parts of the country.

The programme is part of UCDA's efforts to increase specialty coffee volumes and enable farmers and the country to earn premium prices from high-quality arabica coffee.

The Minister handed over five electric-powered wet processing units (UDC 2000) with a capacity to process 1,200 kgs of cherry per hour and 30 petrol-powered units with a processing capacity of 800kgs of cherry per hour. Once installed, the machines will pulp ripe coffee, separate the unripe and dry pods from the good parchment, and remove mucilage leaving high-quality parchment.

The equipment will serve farmers and groups in hard-to-reach areas of Kween, Lamwo, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Buhweju, Kanungu, and Kisoro that have all benefited from the program.

Officiating at the launch of the distribution of the wet mills to the selected beneficiaries in Kampala, Fred Bwino Kyakulaga, the State Minister for Agriculture, said that Uganda has 18 commercial wet mills only compared to dry mills which are over 850.

He noted the need to scale up wet processing to produce commercial volumes in Arabica and Robusta growing areas which will fetch farmers premium prices.

Bwino added that the main objective of procuring the 35 wet processing equipment is to increase the number of wet mills and enhance coffee farmers’ income through value addition by increasing the production of high-quality coffee.

Most of our coffee is processed and marketed as natural and misses the premium prices. Yet, if the coffee is processed as washed and specialty coffee, it earns more.

“For instance, one kg of natural Arabica (dry Uganda Arabica) coffee
fetches Shs14,000 while a kg of washed Arabica coffee fetches Shs18,000,” Bwino said.

“The wet mills will, therefore, increase the production of premium coffee which in turn will enhance the incomes of coffee farmers,” Bwino added.

Speaking at the same event, Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director at UCDA, said that the Authority worked with Local Governments to select the beneficiaries.

"We went through a transparent and rigorous process to select the beneficiaries. Many farmer groups and cooperatives applied for the wet mills but since the funds available weren’t enough, the most qualified organisations were considered.

He added that the equipment will be installed and operational within two months. However, he cautioned the beneficiaries to use the wet mills for the intended objective.

“This is a conditional allocation from Government, and if the machines are not used properly, we shall take them back,” Iyamulemye said, urging beneficiaries to allow other farmers to use the equipment at no extra fee apart from operational costs.

Alfred Boyo, a director at Masha Coffee, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, expressed gratitude to UCDA and MAAIF for availing wet mills to farmers, noting that they will handle them with care and make the best use of them.

He added that the Government should also consider investing more in secondary processing by making available relevant equipment like roasters and grinders.

SCOGEM Enterprises Ltd supplied the equipment. Walter Upoki Umika, the Managing Director at SCOGEM Enterprises Ltd, said all the machines are full coffee washing equipment and can do pulping, sorting, flotation, mucilage removal and have the flexibility to do honey coffee.
The smaller machines cost Shs40m each while the bigger ones cost about Shs220m each.

In FY 2020/21, Uganda earned US$ 559 million from 6.1 million 60-kilo bags. Placing substantial investment in the coffee sub-sector will be a game-changer for the country and the 1.8 million households who benefit from coffee.



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Coffee exporters enjoy clean sweep at President Export Awards 2022

Coffee exporters had a clean sweep of the top positions at the Presidential Exporter Awards 2022, held in Kampala.

UGACOF, emerged top in the Presidential Exporter Awards for the year 2022, while Olam Uganda and Kawacom were 1st & 2nd Runner Up.

UGACOF is Uganda's largest coffee buyer, processor, and exporter with an export turnover of $100m per annum.

While receiving the award, Michael Nuwagaba, the Chief Operations Officer at UGACOF attributed the excellent performance of the coffee sector to the Coffee Roadmap launched by H.E The President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in 2017.

The Roadmap set a production target of 20 million bags by 2030. Since its launch, various efforts have been undertaken by different actors to see accelerated production of coffee.

"We have seen growth in our export volumes. Currently, we export over 1.2 million bags of coffee per year. This rise is a result of the efforts of the different actors," Nuwagaba said.

Uganda has seen a steady rise in coffee export volumes which had stagnated at 3.5m bags.

Coffee exports for 12 months (June 2021-May 2022) totaled 6.35 million bags worth US 837.14 million compared to 5.88 million bags worth US$ 540.54 million the previous year (June 2020-May 2021). This represents an increase of 8% and 55% in both quantity and value respectively.

The Uganda Export Promotions Board organizes the awards and is the national focal point for export promotion and development.


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Uganda Coffee Exporters Tipped on How to Penetrate China Market

Uganda coffee exporters have met with Uganda’s Deputy Head of Mission to Beijing, China, Amb. Fred Mugisha, to strategize on how to penetrate the China market.

The meeting held on 15th April 2022 in Kampala, was a follow up of the first ever Uganda Coffee Day simultaneously held on March 17, 2022 in Uganda and China and was convened to discuss the coffee opportunities in China and the issues raised by coffee stakeholders in Guangzhou.

“We have been marketing and promoting Uganda coffee in China and of late, we have come across very serious[Chinese] companies that want to do joint ventures with Ugandan companies to get our coffee in the Chinese market,” Mugisha said.

China is the second biggest economy in the world with a huge middle class. Traditionally, Chinese were tea people but they are now shifting to coffee and according to Amb. Mugisha this provides Uganda a big opportunity. 

The Ambassador pledged the embassy’s support to exporters who are ready to do business in China. He noted that online marketing is the way to go and encouraged them to take advantage of the available online channels to market Ugandan coffee.

David Katungi, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), called on the exporters to embrace the opportunities in emerging markets such as China to sell their coffee. He reiterated Government’s pledge to support exporters and emphasized that Government has invested in interventions to increase production which will boost export.

“We have interventions geared towards increasing coffee production and productivity. In 2017, we launched the coffee roadmap whose target is to produce 20 million bags by 2025 and we are moving steadily towards that target and with the interventions that we have put in place such as providing seedlings to farmers, extension services and guiding farmers on good agricultural practices, we should be able to produce what is able to satisfy the market,” Katungi said. He encouraged stakeholders to continue investing in coffee before continuing to recount UCDA’s strategic interventions in China and other emerging markets.

“UCDA is working with Uganda’s foreign missions to promote coffee,” Katungi said. “Specifically, we have developed a coffee promotion strategy for China (which we will share with you at an opportune time). We are also in the process of developing an online marketing platform to explore the opportunity of promoting, and selling Uganda coffee online.”

The Acting Director Quality and Regulatory Services, Doreen Rweihangwe, notified the exporters that UCDA has profiled Uganda coffees according to agro ecological zones in partnership with Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). Exporters will be able to use the coffee profiles to market their coffee which is important for buyers who want to trace the coffee origin.

During the meeting attended by small and medium companies, exporters raised concerns such as the need for a warehouse in China, branding, marketing and promotion and trade financing among others.

“A warehouse is a necessity for us and the sooner we get it, the better for our entry into the Chinese market," Joseph Nkandu, the Executive Director at National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE), said. Nkandu also noted that there is need for the government to de-risk the market. He also stressed that there should be a deliberate effort to send young Ugandans to China to learn the language to prepare companies to do business in China.

Nkandu added that “finance is going to be an important factor” if Uganda coffee exporters are going to penetrate the Chinese market.

Aggrey Tumuhairwe, a partner in Kangumamu Agro processing and Exporters, a player already exploiting the Chinese market said that for Ugandan exporters to benefit from the China market, they will require an office there and will need to partner with Chinese companies. He said it is very difficult to break into the Chinese market without joint ventures. Tumuhairwe also noted that the quality of coffee and the consistency are key. He called on Government to support exporters through a brand awareness campaign of the country that will make Uganda known in China. This can then be supplemented with a coffee promotion campaign.

In an interview on the sidelines of the meeting, Katungi noted that Uganda has the capacity to satisfy the China market.

“We have seen a trend of several people entering the coffee industry to produce on a commercial level. There is a lot of land put under coffee production,” he said. “We see coffee production going up and investments going into it. So, we are confident that we have sufficient volumes to meet the huge market in China and other emerging markets.”

Katungi urged the exporters to build their capacity to provide quality coffee which will guarantee the market. The exporters, he emphasized, need to do due diligence to understand the needs of the coffee buyers in order to mobilize the kind of coffee required. In addition, they need to work together as no single exporter would be able to satisfy the market.

“Exporters would benefit more from this market if they came together and raised sufficient capital or meet the requirements because the volumes are high,” Katungi said. “Exporters should understand the dynamics of the China coffee market. One of those dynamics is that for one to supply and sustain supply they will need to partner with a local Chinese firm.”

Importantly, Katungi said that whereas China is a very unique market because of their culture, the general marketing principles apply. The exporters must ensure they meet the market quality requirements, they must be consistent with supply, they must be trusted and operate on pure acceptable business principles, he guided.

Coffee exports to China have been increasing over the years. For instance, Uganda exported 33,000 bags of coffee to China in 2018, 66,000 bags in 2019 and 83, 000 bags in 2020.

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Uganda Committed To Increase Coffee Exports To China

The Minister for State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Okello Oryem, has reiterated Government of Uganda’s commitment to increase Coffee Exports to China.

The Minister made these remarks while speaking at the one-day Hybrid event, the 1st Uganda Coffee Day organized by the Consulate General of the Republic of Uganda in Guangzhou in conjunction with the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Beijing, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) which was convened with the purpose of increasing the volume of exported coffee and coffee products from Uganda to China.

The event which took place simultaneously in Guangzhou at Guangzhou Jinda Coffee & Beverages Market, one of the largest coffee markets in Southern China, and UCDA Offices in Kampala featured a coffee cupping and tasting of the latest harvest of coffee samples of both Robusta and Arabica coffee.

The main objective of this event was to promote the unique quality of Uganda Coffee in China, create partnerships for importation of Uganda coffee into China and attract investments in value addition in Uganda’s coffee sector.

The Uganda Coffee Day is one of the activities to be held in commemoration of 60 years of Uganda- China relations under the theme “60 years of Strategic Friendship and Cooperation between Uganda and China towards a Shared Future in a New Era”.

The Minister commended the efforts of Uganda’s Consulate in Guangzhou and Embassy in Beijing for convening this event noting that this is in fulfillment of the Ministry’s deliberate policy to pursue Economic and Commercial Diplomacy in a bid to strengthen bilateral trade with China.

Hon. Oyrem informed that H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, directed the Uganda Coffee Development Authority to accelerate the coffee production from 3.5M 60kg to 20M by 2025. He affirmed that engagements like these will afford a necessary platform to explore the different ways on how this can be achieved.

The Minister further noted that Ugandan coffee is now ranked 3rd globally in terms of quality and Government is looking at ways of supporting the private sector to penetrate the Chinese market which will give the farmer a good place in the global trade.

H.E. Zhang Lizhong the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda lauded the excellent bilateral relations between China and Uganda. He further commended the efforts of the Uganda Consulate and Embassy in China and the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) for organizing this event to promote coffee exports from Uganda to China.

The Ambassador further reiterated Government of China’s commitment to increase bilateral trade and informed that one of the ways to achieve this is through increased export of Uganda’s coffee which has a unique taste and flavor loved by a significant percentage of Chinese people.

He also informed of the commitment of the Chinese Embassy in Uganda to continue offering UCDA technical support to achieve this common goal for the mutual benefit of both parties.

Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director at Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), revealed that “Uganda is coming to China in a big way.” He further informed that Uganda’s coffee first arrived in China in 2003 and today’s event is one of the activities aimed at finding ways of how Ugandan coffee can penetrate the Chinese market.

He added that Uganda’s coffee roadmap of increasing coffee production from 3.5m bags to 20m bags by 2030 has been informed by lessons worldwide in terms of the market. He highlighted that “For China, UCDA is looking at a structured approach to offset the imports deficit through increased export volumes of coffee with a focus on high-quality specialty.

Amb. Fred Mugisha, the Acting Ambassador to China appreciated Minister Hon. Okello Oryem and H.E. Zhang Lizhong the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda for gracing the function as well as reiterating commitment to increase coffee exports to the Republic of China.

In his remarks, Ambassador Fred Mugisha hailed the good relations between Uganda and China. He thanked Mr. Cai Shuqiang and his team for the support and collaboration in organizing the Uganda Coffee Day in Guangzhou under the theme“60 years of Strategic Friendship and Cooperation between Uganda and China towards a Shared Future in a New Era”

He highlighted that Memorandum of Understanding between Uganda and the People’s Republic of China gives Ugandan coffee access to the Chinese market. He encouraged coffee exporters to take advantage of this MOU to increase coffee exports to China.

Mr. Cai Shuqiang, the President of the Jinda Coffee Market in Guangzhou, thanked the staff of Uganda’s Consulate and Embassy in China and the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) for organizing this event the 1st Uganda Coffee Day in Guangzhou.

The President underscored the enormous potential for Uganda coffee in China. He expressed commitment to partner with UCDA and any other willing Ugandan Coffee exporting company in the exportation of Uganda coffee to China. He further emphasized that he would organize and lead a delegation of Chinese Investors to Uganda to explore more opportunities in the coffee sector once the COVID-19 restrictions on travel in  China are reviewed.

According to statistics from UCDA China’s coffee market is estimated at US$11.5bn in annual sales and is expected to grow by 10% in the next five years. Additionally, Coffee consumption in China is growing at between 15%-20% annually. With the increasing volumes of organically grown coffee, Uganda has an advantage over other African countries to capture the China coffee market.

The event attracted key players in the coffee sector i.e coffee importers & exporters, traders, roasters, dealers in coffee machinery & related equipment, media practitioners and relevant Government departments. It was concluded with an award prize-giving ceremony for Uganda’s best coffees in cupping and tasting presided over by Mr. Jacky Lee Judge and Panel Chief in Guangzhou. The following coffee brands won different prizes with Sipi falls Natural Anaerobic from Kawacom (U) Ltd winning followed by Natural from Mountain Harvest and  Mt Elgon UTZ AAA washed Arabica coffee.

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