According to statistics from Uganda Coffee Development Authority, 30% of Uganda’s total crop exports end up in the Republic of Sudan earning the country millions of dollars plus employment opportunities along the supply chain. Coupled with this, is the significance of this bi-lateral trade as an important contributor to intra-Africa trade still considered to be lowest by recent studies.
All this good news could be at stake following new regulations issued by the Ministry of Cabinet where new and stringent measures have been proposed paralyzing trade.
According to the new measures all green coffees will have to meet new Quality tests on top of this are exorbitant fees levied by new certification agent.
Industry observers have welcomed this development with mixed reactions citing double certification, violation of I.C.O quality standards and making our market noncompetitive.
“It is strange that anybody would suspect Uganda coffee for atomic components considering we have never had major nuclear development or War” Remarked a coffee quality specialist looking at the new requirements.
The good news however, is that U.C.D.A and stakeholders have embarked on a diplomatic agenda to for an inter-governmental dialogue to resolve the contentious clauses of the new regulations to facilitate normal trade relations between the partner CO-MESA states.
Below are comments from some of the industry players:
“Sudan is an important market for our members, as UCF we are doing everything within our means to facilitate a speedy resolution of contentious issues for normalization of trade” – Betty Namwagala, ED UCF.
“I’m very optimistic that the on-going high level dialogue will cure the prevailing anxiety so that things move on normally” – KDS Managing Director Ishaac Lukenge
“We have running contracts with our Sudanese buyers so any further delay in handling this matter could jeopardize our contractual obligations” – Mr. Hemish Dave MD Export Trade Co.
“Any attempt to halt trade gravely affects the farmers who are the most vulnerable within the value-chain thus all players must navigate this situation at a terrific speed” – Seaton Mathew, Kyagalanyi.