The Minister of State for Agriculture, Hon. Fred Bwino Kyakulaga has applauded the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) for the positive developments in the coffee sub sector. The Minister was meeting UCDA’s management team at Coffee House as part of his orientation in his new posting.
“I am excited because I just learned that 85% of export earnings come from Agriculture. Out of that, coffee is the biggest contributor,” Hon. Kyakulaga said. “[Because of that] a trend of decline in the coffee sector [in the 1990s] has been reversed.”
The Minister commended the UCDA management for their efforts in boosting coffee exports and foreign exchange for the country.
“I have been following in the local press,” Hon. Kyakulaga said. “The story is very exciting and pleasing about the increase in the exports and the revenues the country is getting. The developments in the sector are a great achievement. I am excited to join the team.”
Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director of UCDA, while welcoming the Minister, informed him that the agency was the first to be established in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.
“We have made the Ministry proud with our performance to date and we are very committed to continue doing so,” Dr. Iyamulemye pledged. “We will not disappoint you. We are happy to provide information and continue to support the Ministry.”
In his presentation, Dr. Iyamulemye outlined UCDA’s mandate, key achievements and challenges and plans to meet its strategic goals. Dr. Iyamulemye revealed that coffee accounts for about 13-15% of total export earnings and is the 2nd highest foreign exchange earner for the country. In addition, Uganda is the 2nd largest coffee producer in Africa and the largest exporter on the continent. Current coffee production stands at 8 million 60kg bags while exports stand at 6.08 million 60kg bags for the year ended 2020/21.
In his closing remarks, Hon. Kyakulaga acknowledged coffee is one of the biggest earners of foreign exchange yet its budget is not commensurate with its requirements for even better performance.
“We shall get back on the table and harmonise this. We shall advocate for correcting that picture. We must feed our cash cow well. If we don’t do that, how do we expect to achieve the targets of the Coffee Roadmap?” Hon. Kyakulaga asked rhetorically. UCDA’s aims to produce 20 million 60kg bags of coffee by 2025.
The Minister expressed his commitment to work with UCDA to address the challenges that the sub sector currently faces and to take the coffee sub sector to the next level.