Ugandan coffee registers highest monthly earnings from exports
Coffee is Uganda’s second leading foreign exchange earner after gold ...
Uganda’s monthly earnings from coffee exports have exponentially increased from $39.7m (sh146.8b) realised in February 2021 to $53.5m (sh197.9b) in March. This is the highest monthly earnings from coffee exports for the last one year since April 2020.
This is mainly attributed to the increase in the volumes of exported coffee from 562,763 bags of 60kg to 572,839 bags.
The information is contained in the latest monthly performance of the economy report released by the finance ministry. Coffee is the second leading foreign exchange earner for the country after gold.
Earnings from gold exports have declined from $175m (about sh622b) realised in February 2021 to $155.7m (about sh553.4b) in March.
For the last year, the highest monthly earnings from gold exports of $222m (about sh789b) was recorded in July 2020.
“This is the highest amount of coffee Uganda has ever exported in a single month.
It is also an increase of 19% and 16% in quantity and value compared to the earnings realised in March 2020,” the outgoing Parliament agriculture committee chairperson, Janet Okori-moe Akech, said. She commended the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) for the work well done.
“UCDA has performed well in promoting coffee growing through distribution of coffee seedlings. As a committee, that is one of the agencies in the sector we commended for performing well. That is why we don’t want it merged with other entities. We want it to remain independent if we are to achieve the target of realising 20 million bags of coffee by 2030,” Akech said.
The agriculture minister, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, said: “I have been aggressively mobilising Ugandans to grow more coffee.
It is an international crop that fetches a lot of money. It is the only crop whose demand keeps growing at over 2% annually.”
The minister said if more resources and efforts were put into growing the crop and improving standards, the country’s earnings from coffee exports could increase threefold.
Patrick Iga from Bamunanika in Luwero, who was once recognised by Vision Group as the best farmer in the country, also attributes the increase in coffee earnings to the work of UCDA as well as efforts by the Buganda kingdom and the central government in mobilising Ugandans to grow and look after their coffee plantations.
He appealed to the Government to establish coffee factories in various parts of the country to enable farmers get higher economic returns from their coffee.
Cotton, tobacco revenue
Earnings from cotton exports have also significantly increased from $2.4m (about sh8.5b) recorded in February to $4.2m (about sh14.9b) in March.
Earnings from fish exports have also slightly increased from $8.5m (about sh30.2b) in February to $8.6m (about sh30.5b). The highest earnings from fish exports in the last one year were recorded in November 2020 when the country earned $12.9m (about sh45.8b).
The earnings from tobacco exports have also increased from $7.1m (about sh25.2b) in February 2021 to $9.1m (about sh32.3b) in March, which also happens to be the highest monthly earnings from tobacco exports recorded in the last one year.
Earnings from tea exports have slightly decreased from $7.2m (about sh25.5b) registered in February to $7.1m (about sh25.2b) registered in March. The highest earnings in tea of $8m (about 28.4b) were registered in November 2020.
The Middle East remained Uganda’s largest export destination, accounting for 36% of the total export receipts in March 2021, largely on account of the high share mineral product exports to the region. Other major destinations for Uganda’s exports during the month were the East African Community (EAC), rest of Africa and the European Union with 27%, 15% and 12% respectively.
In regard to domestic revenue performance, sh1.6 trillion was collected in March against a target of sh1.57 trillion. This indicates a shortfall of sh300m.
The good performance under tax revenue collection was majorly on account of the more than anticipated collections from taxes on international trade and transactions as well as indirect domestic taxes.