Director of the World Sustainability Organization, Paolo Bray has made an urgent appeal to the government and farming community in Uganda, for coffee farming and production to be made more sustainable.
He stressed Uganda risks losing its position as one of the world’s major coffee producers, if immediate action is not taken.
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Coffee is one of the world’s most consumed drinks, with a higher global market value than tea.
It is the most widely traded tropical product, with up to 25 million farming households globally accounting for 80 percent of world output.
99% of all coffee beans consumed are either Arabica or Robusta.
Uganda is one of the leading exporters of Robusta coffee in Africa. The cash crop earned the East African country US$559 million in 2021.
In 2021/22 overall coffee exports stood at 6.26 million bags valued at $862.28 million, according to data from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.
However, reports reveal that in recent years the plant is increasingly threatened, with the year 2023 marking a challenging period for Africa’s second-largest coffee producer and exporter, and the eighth-largest coffee producer in the world.
This is as a result of inconsistent weather conditions, droughts, long-term climatic changes, ineffective harvesting methods, poor soil conservation techniques, unsustainable farming practices, and a recent dry spell that hit major growing areas; posing a huge threat to coffee production levels.
Founder and Director of leading global sustainability organization, the World Sustainability Organization, Paolo Bray is appealing to the government and farming community in Uganda, to take immediate action to make coffee farming and production more sustainable, in order to mitigate the adverse effects.
SOT – sustainable farming practices
Industry players forecast unsustainable coffee production can potentially cut output to around 5.5 million bags in 2023.
The importance of the coffee sector as a key driver of rural economic activity and income source cannot be understated.
Between 1.2 and 1.7 million families in Uganda produce coffee, Sustainability Expert, Paolo Bray is therefore calling on the government of Uganda to educate farmers on the benefits of sustainable farming.
SOT – sustainable farming must impact farmers’ livelihood
There continues to be an increase in interest and demand for ethically sourced coffee.
Founder and Director of the World Sustainability Organization stressed on the role of third party audited sustainability certifications in improving Uganda’s coffee industry.
SOT – for sustainable certifications
With an economy largely dependent on agricultural commodities, and the coffee crop constituting a major source of foreign exchange; it is imperative for the government and farming community to prioritize sustainable coffee farming and production in Uganda.