Lira becomes leading coffee producer

Kampala- The Uganda Coffee Development Authority has said Uganda’s best coffee now comes from Lira District and the region is beginning to exhibit potential to become the leading producer of coffee in Uganda.

Speaking at the 54th Inter Africa Coffee Organisation Conference last week, Mr Edmund Kananura Kyerere, the quality and regulatory manager Uganda Coffee Development Authority, said volumes in the traditional coffee growing areas of Kasese, Mt. Elgon and Sebei, have stagnated in a long time because of the limited area to cultivate the crop.

He, however, said last year’s harvest in Lira District produced the best quality and quantity of coffee in the country.

“We have limited land to grow Arabica coffee but the results we are getting from Northern Uganda are interesting. Last year, Lira produced the best coffee in the north and the north is becoming the coffee basket for Uganda,” he said.
Besides the promising results, Mr Kyerere said the Ugandan attitude towards consumption is beginning to change because the youth now look at coffee drinking as a fashionable thing they would like to identify with, hence an increase in coffee shops in Kampala.

“Five years ago, we had only six cafes in Uganda but today they are more than 70. The registered number of brands in the shelves has increased to 34,” he said, adding that the biggest challenge the businessmen still face is the high taxation of the packaging materials which are imported.

Coffee remains Uganda’s major agricultural export fetching an average of $500 million (about Shsh1.3 trillion) per annum in foreign exchange.

sotage@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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