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Ugandan Brands Win Coffees Roasted At Origin International Competition In Paris

Ugandan Coffee brands have been recognized among the world’s best coffees at the 9th International Contest of “Coffees roasted at origin” 2023 competition held in Paris, France.

The winners of the competition were announced on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 in Paris, France.

The competition is organized by the Agency for Valorization of Agricultural Products (AVPA) to enable producers to improve consumer perception of exceptional coffees cultivated and roasted properly by the producers.

AVPA offers an opportunity to producers (individual or organized in associations or cooperatives) who take responsibility for their roasting and roasters located in the countries of production and guarantee the traceability of their coffees, to participate in the contest “Coffees roasted at origin”.

The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) submitted an impressive selection of 15 samples of roasted coffees from Ugandan farmers and roasters to this prestigious contest.

Nearly 200 exceptional coffees/samples spread over 25 countries from four continents took part in the competition.

Winners

Two Ugandan coffee brands won Gold medals; Gorilla Highlands from Bwindi and Sasa Coffee from Mount Elgon area.

Zicofe, Kikobero Coffee and Nucafe received Silver, while Big Gorilla, Dicana Coffee and Sipi Hills won Bronze medals.

Mugamba Organic, Nucafe, Elgon Pride, Gorilla Conservation Coffee and Masha Coffee were also recognized with Certificates of Excellence.

Uganda emerged the best in Africa as 13 of the 15 samples submitted were awarded and recognized. It was followed by Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Kenya with five, three and two samples recognized and awarded respectively.

Peru, Columbia and Uganda took the first three positions.

Uganda’s remarkable coffees embody the diverse flavors and rich heritage of the country’s thriving coffee industry.

Laura Walusimbi, the Corporate Communications Manager at UCDA, congratulated all the winners of the AVPA “Coffees Roasted at Origin” competition.

“The dedication and hard work that they put into producing such exceptional coffee is commendable. UCDA is mandated to regulate, promote, and oversee the coffee industry and we pledge our full support to all stakeholders. Together, we will elevate Uganda’s outstanding coffee to global recognition,” she said.

Quality improving

The competition organizers say they received fantastic coffee from all over the world and that it was a hard task for jury members to do the tasting and pick the eventual winners.

The AVPA jury consists of six to twelve members. The jury members are French speaking; they are professionals in the coffee industry (producers, roasters, and distributors), chefs, gourmets and discerning consumers.

“The quality of the green coffee that has been used in the selection is really good,” a taster said, adding: “The profile, packaging and the quality has really improved. We are hopeful that the coffees that were recognized with medals get to have the recognition on the market and improve what they are already doing.”

The organizers say that for those who were not awarded, it is a chance for them to improve the quality of their coffee and the roast profile.

A coffee taster, Marilyn Kennedy, appealed to participants to “keep up the good work.”

“We need to elevate the quality of coffee all over the world and you are there to do that and we are here to taste that coffee,” she said.

Premium Prices in the offing

Richard Rugaya, the Founder of Gorilla Highlands, says the Paris event is going to help them achieve premium prices by selling coffee roasted at the origin and that it will help the company and the farmers improve their livelihood and incomes.

Martin Nangoli, the founder and Managing Director of Kikobero Coffee Company Ltd, says the win of a silver medal for Kikobero Coffee was a surprise and is a huge win for Ugandan Specialty coffee.

“Kikobero Coffee was selected and submitted for this competition. The win means a lot for our Ugandan coffee on any shelves anywhere in the world. It means our coffee is of high quality,” Nangoli.

He adds that roasting coffee at the origin is key as it shows that “we are in charge of our roasting profiles.”

“If Uganda competed among 200 coffees from 25 countries and came out with such results, it means a lot in the world of coffee. It’s worth celebrating,” he said.

“We look after our farmers, our coffee, our processors and our producers. We are concerned about every detail from the garden to the cup. This is what sets us apart. This win is setting a challenge for us to look at how to compete against giants like Ethiopia.”

He applauded UCDA for objectively considering and submitting a number of coffee samples from Uganda including Kikobero coffee to showcase their products at such a global event.

 

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Kisoro Coffee farmers set to tap into the specialty market

Kisoro, a coffee growing region with potential to produce some of the best Arabica in the country and enable farmers earn big from the lucrative coffee business still lags behind because of bottlenecks such as lack of processing equipment.

This is set to change as UCDA gave out four wet mills to coffee farming communities to support coffee processing, thus increasing the quality and volumes produced.

In March, UCDA Technical Extension Manager, Robert Tumwesigye oversaw the successful installation and operationalisation of a wet mill on Mr. Gerald Ngarama’s coffee farm in Murora sub-county, Kisoro district. The engine-driven wet mill has capacity to process 800kgs of red cherry per hour and will be accessed for free by other coffee farmers in the community.

Ngarama, is one of the recipients of the 35 wet mills procured by UCDA for distribution to coffee farmers across the country in a bid to improve coffee quality and promote production of specialty coffee which fetches a premium price.

Speaking at the launch, Tumwesigye noted that while access to the power grid remains a major challenge in rural areas, the engine-driven wet mill will ensure uninterrupted coffee processing.

Three other recipients of the wet mills are Festus Bahinyuza from Nyabwishenya sub-county, Winnie Bavuga from Nyakabande sub-county and Kenneth Barigye, Nyakabande sub-county.

Memory Akaijuka, the UCDA Regional Extension Officer for Kisoro says that coffee farmers in Kisoro have long struggled to process coffee to the right standard. This has often resulted in poorly processed coffee which fetches low prices on the market.

The installation of the wet mills will make it easy for farmers to pulp the coffee, store it in bulk as parchment and then, later, market it to buyers while maintaining its quality.

Kisoro Arabica coffee is grown on the slopes of Mt. Muhavura in south western Uganda. It has lively acidity, creamy mouthfeel and a sweet flavour with pleasantly lingering aftertaste.

In Kisoro district, about 80,000 farmers are involved in coffee growing with an estimated 4.3 million coffee trees planted mainly in the sub-counties of Nyabwishenya, Nyundo, Nyakabande, Busanza, Murora, Kirundo and Kisoro.

UCDA and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries last year commenced on a program to scale up wet processing to produce commercial volumes in Arabica and Robusta growing areas to attract premium prices.

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Lusha Coffee to Export Specialty Arabica Beans from Uganda to Canada

The growing demand for Ugandan specialty coffee has seen a new entrant into the coffee export business set to increase the visibility of Uganda coffee in Canadian and major European cities.

Lusha, a coffee export company specialising in exporting specialty Arabica coffee to Canada says Uganda coffee has the potential to outcompete other origins in the Canadian and European markets due to its quality and unique attributes. 

The Toronto-based coffee export company which recently obtained an export license from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) will source specialty Arabica coffee from Bududa, on the slopes of Mountain Elgon in Eastern Uganda. This move is set to increase the visibility of Ugandan coffee in Canadian and major European cities and offers a unique opportunity for coffee lovers in Canada, North America and Europe to taste some of the best specialty Arabica coffee that Uganda has to offer.

The demand for specialty coffee has been on the rise globally, and Uganda has not been left behind in this trend. Uganda coffee has a unique flavour profile, with notes of fruit, chocolate, and nutty undertones, making it stand out from other origins. The unique attributes of Ugandan coffee have attracted the attention of coffee enthusiasts and roasters in North America, with Canada being a key market.

According to Randy Paul, ED of Lusha Coffee, Uganda has the potential to be the leading supplier of specialty coffee to cafes and roasters in North America. This statement is not unfounded, as Uganda has already made significant strides in recent years in the coffee industry. Uganda's coffee industry has seen its market share increase in several key markets, and the industry has made significant progress in improving the quality of its coffee beans.

During a recent visit to UCDA, Lusha Coffee's management team was briefed on export procedures, product certifications, and general market trends that dictate the performance of Uganda's coffee trading on the international market. The meeting was led by Dr. Emmanuel Lyamulemye, the Managing Director of UCDA, who emphasized the importance of complying with international standards and regulations, working together to promote Ugandan coffee on the international market, and focusing on quality and sustainability.

Dr. Lyamulemye also shared data on the performance of Uganda's coffee trading on the international market, including market trends and pricing. The data showed that Uganda's coffee industry has faced some challenges in the past, but has made significant progress in recent years, and is now poised to be a leading supplier of specialty coffee to cafes and roasters in North America.

The Executive Director further urged Lusha Coffee to work with qualified professionals to ensure the sourcing of high-quality green coffee beans and to create a relationship with the farmers through community engagements and formations of Agents networks to ensure continuous supply during the year. The Executive Director also emphasized the importance of collaboration between industry stakeholders, the government, and development partners to boost the coffee trade.

Lusha Coffee's entry into the coffee export business is a welcome move for the coffee industry in Uganda and Canada. This move is set to increase the visibility of Ugandan coffee in Canadian cities and offers a unique opportunity for coffee lovers in Canada to taste some of the best specialty Arabica coffee that Uganda has to offer. With the collaboration between Lusha Coffee, UCDA, and other industry stakeholders, Uganda's coffee industry is set to make significant progress in the international market and solidify its position as a leading supplier of specialty coffee.

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Manage the Black Coffee Twig Borer with these easy steps

The Black Coffee Twig Borer (BCTB) attacks crop-bearing branches of mainly Robusta trees causing them to dry. A farmer can lose up to 50% of the coffee yield if they do not manage BCTB on the farm.

The resultant damage from the beetle is higher during the dry season, especially in coffee trees under shade trees, closely planted coffee trees or inadequately pruned or de-suckered coffee.

Damage to coffee

Only female beetles cause damage to the plants by boring into the tissue of the host. They bore through the xylem into the twig pitch where they chew along the axis of the twig to make a common brood chamber for the eggs. The males live up to 6 days and are flightless while the females live up to 58 days.

The entire life cycle, from egg to mature adult, takes 29 days. On the 29th day, the new females exit the parental galleries to establish new ones. Each female hatches between 10 and 30 eggs. The larvae and adults of the borer get food from the symbiosis developed with the ambrosia fungus.

How to Control the Spread of BCTB

Regularly inspect the coffee field to check for any infestation. As soon as the pest is sighted, cut, chop and burn the affected plant parts. Farmers should avoid using musizi and musambya as shade trees. These are alternate host trees of the BCTB.

It is important that farmers use pest-free planting materials from UCDA-certified coffee nurseries only.

The beetle trap developed by the National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI) is highly effective in fighting the Black Co ffee Twig Borer. The trap is composed of a transparent plastic bottle, a smaller pharmaceutical bottle, ethanol and a wire or string.

The plastic bottle has two windows on opposite sides. It holds water which drowns and kills the beetle. The smaller bottle, with ethanol in it, is tied with a string and placed in the plastic bottle. The ethanol scent attracts the insect. Once inside the plastic bottle they are trapped by the water in it.

Community approach required

The pests can fly over a very long distance so it will not be helpful if one farmer uses the BCTB traps and others do not. The entire community must take up the technology.

Controlling BCTB

Cut, chop and burn affected plant parts.
Avoid using shade trees such as musizi and musambya. These are alternate host trees for the BCTB.
Use pest-free planting materials from certified coffee nurseries.
Inspect your field regularly to identify any infestation.
 

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