Uganda assures coffee farmers of int'l demand despite exit from key pact-Xinhua

Uganda assures coffee farmers of int'l demand despite exit from key pact

Source: Xinhua| 2022-02-22 10:29:58|Editor: huaxia

KAMPALA, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Uganda has assured coffee farmers and exporters that the country's prized cash crop will still be in high demand in the international market despite the country's pullout from an important coffee pact.

On Thursday, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, a national regulator of the coffee industry, announced that it had withdrawn from the International Coffee Agreement 2007 to protest what it called an unfair trading system in the international coffee market.

The agreement was created to strengthen the International Coffee Organization, an intergovernmental forum that brings together dozens of exporting and importing countries. However, the Ugandan coffee regulator protested the agreement, saying it has become incapable of addressing the challenges facing the country's coffee producers.

Uganda needs unconditional market access for exporting not only green beans but also processed coffee since selling value-added products can increase farmers' incomes. But some importing countries have imposed additional tariffs and restrictions on the import of value-added coffee. The authority called for removing the barriers in a withdrawal statement last week.

"There are no taxes on green beans. This encourages import of green beans which are re-exported to other countries. Uganda's government has repeatedly decried the lost opportunity in our export of raw coffee and thus appropriate negotiations are urgently required," it said.

Meanwhile, the regulator has promised that Uganda's coffee economy will not be disrupted by exiting the deal, saying that it "wishes to reassure all coffee farmers, producers, traders and everyone involved in the coffee value chain that Uganda's coffee is marketable, highly sought after and trade will continue uninterrupted."

Doreen Rweihangwe, the authority's director for quality and regulatory services, said that the pullout from the agreement will not affect Uganda's coffee exports since the country has preferential agreements with different countries, noting "the contracts will continue between buyer and seller."

"Our coffee will continue to move unhindered to the markets it has been going to," Rweihangwe said.