Crop exports earn Uganda Shs85b

Crop export in the Financial Year 20132014 fetched Shs85 billion underwriting the importance of agriculture sector to the economy.

Mr Okasai Opolot, the commissioner for crop production in the Ministry of Agriculture, attributed the earnings in export to increased crop production in the country despite a small budget of about 3 per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product, (GDP).

“Overall, [there was] 9 per cent increase in crop production”, Mr Opolot said.
Statistics from Uganda Export Promotions Board indicate that the country earned $7.7milion alone in exporting maize in the first quarter of 2014 mainly to regional markets of Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Burundi.

Mr Opolot says the increase has been attained after the ministry distributed 3400 metric tonnes of seeds established 3000 demonstration plots to train farmers and procured 2000 ox-ploughs, deployed 280 extension workers and distributed 424466 units of pesticides, 375 metric tons of fertilisers ,among others.

Tea exports increased by 2 per cent in export volumes (from 59,015Mt in 201213 to 60,000Mt in 201314) indicating exports value increment from Shs28.6 billion to Shs29.6 billion. Twenty eight tea factories mainly in Bushenyi, Buhweju, Kanungu and Kabarole process tea.

Cocoa posted a 13 per cent increase in export volumes (from 19,4305Mt in 201213 to 22,010Mt in 201314) showing an increment from Shs119.6billion to Shs150.8billion.

Beans fetched Shs47 billion in the same period
Statistics from Uganda Coffee Development Authority for the month of March showed, coffee exports for the period (April 2013 to March 2014) totalled 3.77 million bags up from the 3.02 million bags exported in the same period last year.

Robusta coffee increased by 12.18 per cent and 1.37 per cent in volume and value respectively while Arabica also posted an increase of 14.44 per cent and 6.59 per cent in volume and value respectively compared to the same period in 201213.

At 72 per cent of the total export volume was exported by 10 exporters, out of 29 exporters that performed in the month. However, lint export earnings reduced from Shs78.5 billion in 201213 to Shs65.3 billion in 201314.

Poor post-harvest handling, climate change where some regions receive a lot of rainfall while others experience droughts, limited value additions and land fragmentation are some of the reasons Mr Opolot says are threats to the agro-business sector in the country.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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