Local coffee consumption edges up to 5%

Local consumption of coffee has increased, a trend destined to supplement export revenue and boost living standards for farmers.

Information from the coffee experts indicate local consumption which used to be less that 2 per cent a decade ago has gone up to 5 per cent.This is judged from the number of coffee shops that have opened in the country, an indication that the beverage, which is the country’s leading export earner, is liked.

In an interview with Prosper magazine-the executive director of National Union of Coffee Agri-businesses and Farm Enterprises (Nucafe), Mr Joseph Nkandu, shares: “10 years ago, the country had only one coffee shop but now this has grown to 40 coffee shops in Kampala alone. This is an indication of increased local consumption of coffee.”

He added that the 50,000 coffee bags which were roasted to cater for the local consumption then, have now gone up to 200,000 bags consumed annually.

Cafés and shopsCompanies roasting and processing coffee have increased and these include Star café, Good African Coffee, Nile Coffee, Volcanic Coffee, Ban Café, and Pap Café, among others.

In an interview with Prosper magazine, Star Café general manager Elijah Njoroge Kang’ara said as a pioneer company in roasting coffee, a lot still needs to be done.

For some people, drinking coffee has always been associated with some health hazards particularly associated to heart diseases but to Mr Charles Omusana, the deputy director in charge of investment facilitation and Aftercare Division, at Uganda Investment Authority does not subscribe to this notion.

“I take coffee as a beverage and I do it anytime of the day and nothing has happened to me,” he shares.His best brands which are made locally are Espresso by Good African Coffee and Star Café. He often takes coffee when meeting friends and at his office.

roduction and exportsStatistics from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority show that Uganda exported 3.5 million bags of coffee (red beans each 60kg) earning the countryShs671 billion ($266 million) in 2012.Nonetheless, experts say if just 20 per cent of the exported coffee had undergone the full value addition process of roasting and grinding, it would earn the country at least Shs11 trillion ($443 million).

Coffee FiguresThe commodity. Uganda is still ranked among the leading producers standing at the 10th position globally and it is one of the leading exporters in Africa, second in production after Ethiopia.

SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR

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