Uganda has been tasked to improve its coffee quality if it wants to sell its product at a premium price on the global market.
Speakers at the just-concluded African Fine Coffee conference held at Serena hotel in Kampala observed that while Uganda was upping its coffee production levels, its Robusta and Arabica coffees received negative differentials at the world market because of poor quality.
This means it fetches less money than it would have if it was rated positively.
Agriculture minister Vincent Ssempijja said the country was determined to work on coffee quality. He said it is only then that the country can sell its coffee at a premium.
Despite significant coffee exports to the world market worth about 2 billion dollars a year, Uganda's coffee is still not visible on shelves.
Government and stakeholders in the coffee sub sector must prioritise investment in marketing the countrys coffee if the country is to rip any tangible benefits from the crop.
Uganda has been asked to export more of its coffee mainly Robusta to China as demand piles. Robusta is Uganda’s leading coffee species making almost 85 per cent of the export volumes.
About 10 years ago when Uganda opened up its coffee doors to China it faced challenges because the World’s largest populous country was into tea drinking culture.
If you can build professional connections over a single cup of coffee, imagine what you can do with an entire coffee company. Partnering with the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses & Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE), a Ugandan coffee company, has allowed Carly Stingl, advisor and program coordinator for UW–Madison’s International Internship Program (IIP), to forge new connections and offer professional opportunities for undergraduates.
International internships are often developed through UW connections all over the world, and the same is true for this opportunity with NUCAFE. Stingl met Rashida Nakabuga, Membership and Advocacy Coordinator at NUCAFE, in 2016 when Nakabuga was on campus as a Mandela Washington Fellow. Through several meetings, Stingl and Nakabuga developed an internship opportunity for UW–Madison students that offers an overall look at how a coffee company works in Uganda. The intern begins the summer by spending a short amount of time in various departments such as operations, sales, and marketing to understand how the company works followed by engaging in projects based on their own strengths and interests.
A newly released study from the multi-stakeholder Global Coffee Platform provides a broad outline for improving farmer incomes throughout the global coffee sector through yield improvements, quality improvements, training, and empowering women farmers, among other opportunities.