Uganda to regulate its coffee farming to boost quality and output
Africa’s top coffee exporter says current laws do not cover planting materials and harvesting
Kampala — Uganda, Africa’s top coffee exporter, plans to introduce a new law to regulate farming of the bean in a drive to boost quality and output for the nation’s main commodity export.
The new legislation will replace a 1991 law that only covers post-farm activities such as marketing and processing, according to the National Coffee Bill that’s currently under consideration by law makers. The law would widen governance to issues related to planting materials, harvest and post-harvest handling, research and climate change.
“Issues relating to the generation of planting materials, harvesting and drying of coffee are not covered under the current law,” according to the agriculture ministry. “It is therefore imperative to reform the law as it does not meet the current needs and long-term goals of the government.”
Authorities also intend to register all coffee farmers for monitoring, according to the bill.
Uganda, Africa’s second-biggest coffee grower after Ethiopia, forecasts production at 5.6-million 60kg bags in the 12 months to end-September, and projects output climbing to 20-million bags in 2025. The country largely produces the robusta variety and the bulk of the beans are exported.