Uganda is losing USD 1 million (3.6 billion Shillings) a in coffee earnings annually due to the effects of climate change, according to Joseph Nkandu, the Executive Director of National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE).
Speaking in an interview with Uganda Radio Network, Nkandu says climate change is affecting not just the growth of coffee trees but also the coffee bean size which is reducing increasingly.
Nkandu says in the last 10 years, the coffee sector lost an estimated USD 30 million (110 billion Shillings), as a direct result of climate change.
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Nkandu says due to the adverse effects of climate change, 58 percent of coffee seedlings supplied by the government in the last 10 years withered and died, causing a loss of over 10 billion Shillings.
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He adds that the management of the coffee sector is shambolic and instead of being progressive is froth with loses of 3.6 billion Shillings annually.
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According to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, Uganda exported 3.5 million bags of coffee in 2016, earning about USD 400 million (1.5 trillion Shillings) from coffee exports.
Although Uganda is the biggest exporter of coffee in Africa, locally it adds value to and consumes little of her coffee. The coffee exports are also dominated by foreign firms.
In contrast, Ethiopia, which is the biggest producer of coffee, consumes about 60 percent of its coffee, exporting just 40 percent, and that explains why Uganda has become Africa's biggest coffee exporter.