Kampala, Uganda – By Desire Ninsiima
Uganda coffee was ranked 3rd best in the world behind Ethiopia and Kenya by professional coffee tasters in a survey of the top 16 coffee-growing countries in the world.
The coffee tasters graded 1,229 coffees from around the world that was harvested from 2010 to 2018 with the top three spots going to African countries.
The professional coffee tasters are certified by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), a non-profit organization that works internationally to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it.
The CQI certified coffee graders must pass 22 tests to prove they can grade coffee accurately and consistently by its aroma, flavour, acidity, body, balance and more.
A grading scale with a maximum score of 100 was used to score coffees from each of the 16 countries.
Ethiopia scored the highest average rating with 84.88, followed by Kenya with an average rating of 84.31 and Uganda came third with an average rating of 84.05.
Out of the Uganda coffees that were tested, Arabica coffee owned by Kabum Trading Company in Kapchwora, Eastern Uganda came top with a score of 86.83.
Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director, Uganda Coffee Development Authority said that Uganda’s coffee has been improving over the years and stakeholders need to more so that Uganda attains the number one position.
“The quality of Ugandan coffee has been improving over the years following massive sensitization conducted by UCDA among coffee farmers and if everyone in the coffee value chain does it right, we can attain no.1 position in the world.”
Uganda’s Coffee Sector
Coffee is the second largest valued commodity in international trade and most widely traded tropical agricultural commodity after petroleum. In the East African Community, Uganda remains the lead exporter of coffee, closely followed by Kenya and Tanzania.
Coffee exports for 12 months to October 2020, totaled to 5,409,054 bags worth $513.99m compared to 4,465,534 bags worth $435.81m the previous year. This represents a 20% and 18% increase in both quantity and value. The improved performance was attributed to an increase in production on the account of fruitation of newly planted coffee trees and favourable weather.
Under the Coffee Road Map, the Government aims at accelerating coffee exports to 20 million bags per year.