Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Second G-25 Africa Coffee Summit is set to take place in Uganda with the aim of addressing challenges faced by African coffee-producing countries and promoting value addition, as well as domestic consumption of coffee.
Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, emphasized the importance of coffee value addition to the social-economic transformation of African economies during a press briefing at the government-owned media center.
The summit intends to foster synergies to expand regional coffee trade within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Climate change and its impact on coffee farming in Africa were also discussed, with the minister stressing the need for continuous investment in research, innovation, and development to develop resilient coffee varieties.
One of the major challenges faced by coffee farmers in Uganda is the Coffee Leaf Rust disease, which significantly affects coffee farming at low altitudes. To combat this, David Kashura Kyomukama, the Permanent Secretary of MAAIF, suggested the use of pesticides recommended by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), and assistance for farmers in accessing these pesticides depending on the severity of the outbreak.
He also mentioned that Uganda has managed to breed leaf rust-resistant coffee varieties, providing a long-term solution to the problem.
Emmanuel Lyamulemye Niyibigira, the Managing Director of Uganda Coffee Development Authority, highlighted the collaboration between UCDA and the national coffee research institute in Mukono to address coffee diseases through the development of drought-tolerant and disease-resistant coffee varieties. However, funding constraints have been a challenge for the research institute, which receives more support from the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) than from UCDA.
Africa currently produces 12 percent of the world’s coffee, with Uganda leading as the top coffee exporter and the second-largest coffee producer on the continent. However, much of the coffee is exported in unprocessed form, emphasizing the need for value addition within the coffee industry.
The Summit will take place at Speak Resort Munyonyo from August 8th to 10th 2023, under the theme “Transforming the African Coffee Sector through Value Addition.”