Uganda To Host African Coffee Symposium


information pills geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>Mbabazi said Uganda is the biggest exporter of coffee in Africa but the country has the potential to favorably compete with Vietnam which is produces more coffee than the whole of Africa.

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information pills geneva;”>The Premier made the remarks on Thursday while meeting the Secretary General of Inter-African Coffee Organisation, Frederick Kawuwa who called on him at his office in Kampala.

The African Coffee body is organising the Kampala conference which is expected to bring together Ministers of Agriculture from the 25 coffee growing countries in Africa to discuss ways of revamping coffee production in Africa.

Between 1971 and 2012, global coffee exports grew by 88.7% from about 60 to 110 million bags annually, but Africa was not part of that growth and instead her exports reduced by 44% from about 19 to 10 million bags annually.

Vietnam, a small Asian country increased her coffee production between 1993 and 2013 from 2 million to 22 million bags as a result of hard work, favorable government policies and planting of improved coffee varieties.

Mbabazi said Uganda which produces about 3.5 million bags annually can recover because the country is now focused on increasing coffee production.

Uganda Coffee development authority has supplied up to 36 million coffee seedlings this year alone and could reach the mark of 68 million, with a projection of increasing coffee production from 3.5 million bags to 10 million bags in 5 to 10 years.

“We have been focusing on improving household income by encouraging people to grow crops with a steady flow of income such as coffee and tea,” Mbabazi said.

He added that the country has prioritised infrastructure development especially roads, railway and power generation in addition to security because the country cannot develop without these investments.

“Investment in value addition is critical. If people know that there is value in coffee growing, they will massively grow it,” Mbabazi said.

It is estimated that over 33 million people in Africa depend on coffee for their livelihood and the majority of these are smallholder farmers.

The Inter- African Coffee Organisation Secretary General said Coffee can significantly contribute to the economic transformation of the African Economy, adding that the proposal to give coffee, special attention at the African Union should be considered at the forthcoming AU heads of state summit.

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Prof. Zerubabel Nyiira who urged Uganda coffee development authority to focus of promoting best practices of coffee growing.

It is estimated that an additional 20 million bags of coffee will be needed by 2020 to satisfy the growing global demand.


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