Uganda’s coffee exports are likely to rise by 3 percent to 3.6 million 60-kg bags of the beans in the 2014/15 (Oct-Sep) crop year largely due to good weather and attractive prices.
Uganda, Africa’s number one exporter of coffee and which predominately cultivates the robusta variety, expects 2013/14 exports to hit a forecast for the season of 3.5 million bags.
By the end of July, Uganda had shipped 3 million bags since the beginning of the season.
David Muwonge, head of marketing and production at the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE), said on Monday that there was a marginal risk of a harsh dry spell between January and March that could affect the crop, but did not expect this to affect the overall output.
“I am expecting the above-normal rains we’re getting now should really yield a strong harvest. That should enable us to hit 3.6 million bags,” he told Reuters.
A July sector performance report by the state-run Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) said eastern Uganda was experiencing heavy rainfall in all coffee-growing districts.
The report said the rains were supporting good bean formation and development.
Coffee farms in eastern and central Uganda, which jointly account for 55 percent of Uganda’s annual coffee production, are expected to harvest the commodity later this year.
At the current average of 3,500 to 4,500 per kg of dry bean cherries, Muwonge said the farmgate prices were attractive enough to spur farmers to release stocks onto the market.