Uganda’s coffee exports grow despite COVID trade disruptions

Uganda’s coffee exports have grown in value and volume for the second month in a row, despite market disruptions caused by the coronavirus. 

The Uganda Coffee Production Authority released data last week showing that the country’s coffee exports totaled 5.56 million bags worth $511.21 million between March 2020 and February 2021, up from 4.74 million bags worth $459.47 million the previous year, a 17 percent and 11 percent increase in quantity and value, respectively. 

Uganda exported 563,763 60-kg bags of coffee worth $50.55 million in February.

Despite travel restrictions, Minister of Agriculture Vincent Ssempijja attributes the recent rise in exports to increased production in the country’s coffee-growing regions, as well as the streamlining of transport and logistics from the farms to the market. 

He went on to say that many exporters wanted to keep their stock in warehouses during that period until the business situation improved.

“For example, during the lockdown, moving the coffee from the farms to the port was difficult. What explains the constant rise these few months is that we have addressed the issue of logistics, delays and bureaucracy at the Mombasa port,” he said.

Following the partial lifting of lockdown measures in countries that buy Uganda’s coffee, the country has seen a rise in the number of coffee bags exported per month since April last year. 

According to TheEastAfrica, Uganda has set a lofty goal of exporting 20 million bags of coffee by 2022, putting the country in a position to compete with giants like Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Brazil.

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