Dutch ambassador to Uganda Henk Jan Bakker used the occasion of 2nd Annual National Coffee Festival in Kampala to express optimism about the direction the industry has taken of late.
He says even though only 3 per cent Ugandans consume of locally produced coffee, there is much hope that domestic consumption is set to rise given the level of interest and enthusiasm exhibited by investors through venturing into coffee shops (barse).
“One of the things that struck me when I arrived in Uganda recently was the popularity of the coffee bars like Good African Coffee, Café Javas, Cafesserie and many others that appeal the product that they serve like cappuccinos, espressos, lattes with all kinds flavours,” he said.
The envoy noted that since the coffee subsector is taking significant strides in attracting businesses that target the end users, it means more people are willing to pay for a cup of coffee and if that trend is supported, it will encourage local coffee primary production, processing and eventually boost productivity.
Coffee has contributed between 18-20 per cent of the foreign exchange earnings of Uganda for the last ten years reports Daily Monitor
However, the volume of coffee produced in 2014/15 financial year decreased from 3.7 million 60kg bags worth $425.4m in financial year 2013/14 to 3.24 million 60kg bags worth $410m attributed to drought.
In a speech read by the Kampala minister Betty Kamya, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda reiterated government’s commitment in boosting coffee production and export through supporting value chain systems and also said government would fast track the coffee law.