UGANDA – The government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance has entered into an agreement with Vinci Coffee Company Limited, to establish a coffee processing plant at Kampala Industrial and Business Park.
Under the agreement, the state has donated a parcel of land for construction of the facility which is expected to have a processing capacity of 60,000 tonnes of coffee per year but will start with 27,000 tonnes.
The investment will not only create job opportunities for the locals, totalling about 246 jobs, but also enable Uganda to fetch higher prices from the economically important crop on the export market.
Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija said, “This project is crucial and will help coffee farmers get better prices. Middlemen have been taking much of our money. We will earn more money from our sweat.”
Uganda is one of the leading coffee exporters across the region. The East African nation closed the year 2021 on a high as its December export earnings were double compared to the previous year’s corresponding period.
According to the Uganda Coffee Board, the country fetched US$75.25 million in the export of 536,889 60-kilo bags, registering a 100.64% rise in value compared to December 2020.
The exported amount, which is 28.03% more compared to the same month last year, comprised of 452,55 bags of Robusta valued at US$ 55.26 million and 84,301 bags of Arabica valued at US$ 19.99 million.
The higher income is attributed to improved global coffee prices which were 85 cents higher than US$ 1.49/kilo in December 2020.
The positive trend in global coffee prices is credited to weather related issues in Brazil and shortage of shipping containers which prompted exporters to release their stocks.
Meanwhile, increasing coffee exports during the month compared to the previous year was due to newly planted coffee which started yielding supported by favourable weather.
The entire year 2021 was a promising period for Uganda as its coffee exports for the 12 months (January 2021-December 2021) amounted to 6,765,428 bags worth US$ 718.57 million.
This was 23.26% and 38.18% higher in both quantity and value respectively, compared to 5,488,927 60-kilo bags valued at US$ 520.01 million sold the previous year 2020.
With the Italian Vinci Coffee Company adding value to Uganda’s green gold, it is set to foster closer ties between Italy and Uganda.
The European nation is the leading importer of the nation’s coffee. In December last year, it maintained its top slot as the leading buyer accounting of 37.11%.
Italy was followed by Germany 17.38%, Sudan 5.99%, USA 4.68% and Spain 4.62%.