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Uganda: European Union grant to boost coffee and cocoa exports

MILAN — Uganda has received an EU grant of 3.7million Euros (approximately 15.6 billion Uganda Shillings) to boost coffee and cocoa exports to the European Union and other global markets. The grant agreement was signed between Uganda’s Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and the EU ambassador to Uganda Attilio Pacifici Tuesday morning in Kampala.

It seeks to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Uganda to gain access to markets in the EU, and increase inter-regional trade by enhancing the competitiveness of the coffee and cocoa exports.

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Kasaija said the grant will enable the government to implement a range of efficiency measures to reduce trade barriers and provide quality assurance, enhancement of SME export competitiveness and business promotion.

The grant for a project known as the European Union-East African Community Market Access or MARKUP is part of regional project aimed at strengthening the value chain and EU market access for strategic export-oriented crops.

While the crops under the projects are coffee, cocoa, tea, horticulture, spices, avocado and peas, Uganda zeroed on coffee and cocoa given the country’s comparative advantages in the two crops.

According to EU Ambassador Pacifici, Uganda’s coffee exports to the EU are worth 60 percent of total exports.

The new project intends to increase access of Ugandan coffee and cocoa to the EU market by strengthening the supply side, including the value chain, value addition and role of the private sector.

According to EU data, in 2017 coffee exports from Uganda to the EU market increased to over 312 million Euros representing 60 percent of Uganda’s total exports to the EU.

Cocoa exports from Uganda to the European Union have peaked at 36 million Euros since 2015, and the cocoa sector presents strong potential for further development.