Uganda: Coffee Exports Defy Covid-19 Disruptions to Post Growth

Coffee exports have defied Covid-19 market disruptions for a straight second month recording growth in value and volume.

According to data from Uganda Coffee Development Authority, coffee exports between March 2020 and February 2021 grossed at 5.56 million bags worth $511.21m, from 4.74 million bags worth $459.47m the previous year.

This represented a 17 per cent and 11 per cent increase in quantity and value, respectively.

In February, Uganda exported 563,763 60-kilogramme bags of coffee worth $50.55m.

Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja, said the recent growth in coffee exports was due to increased production in coffee growing regions, and streamlining of transport and logistics from farms to the market, amid travel restrictions.

During the period, he said, many exporters had decided to keep their stock at warehouses until the market situation changed.

"For example, during the lockdown, moving 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.

Since April last year, Uganda started posting an increase in the number of coffee bags being exported each month following a partial lifting of lockdown measures in countries that buy Uganda's coffee.

On paper, Uganda has an ambitious target of exporting 20 million bags of coffee by 2022, which would put the country in a position to compete with large coffee powerhouses such as Ethiopia, Vietnam and Brazil.

Source: The Monitor

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