Friday, February 17, 2012

Uganda keeps coffee-output target amid disease, climate change

William Davison in Bloomberg: Uganda, Africa’s biggest coffee exporter, is maintaining its target to boost production to 4.5 million bags by 2015 even as it faces challenges from rising temperatures and coffee-wilt disease, an industry body said.

The East African nation plans to begin planting seven strains of robusta-variety trees that are resistant to coffee wilt, while climate change will partly be combated by irrigation programs, said Edmund Kananura Kyerere, quality and regulatory manager at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.

“We are still targeting increased production,” Kyerere said in an interview at the African Fine Coffee Conference in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, yesterday. “The target is still 4.5 million bags.”

Uganda exported 3.14 million 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags of coffee in 2011, ranking the country as the world’s ninth- biggest shipper of the beans, according to data on the International Coffee Organization’s website. Robusta beans, which are used in espressos and instant drinks, account for about 85 percent of the nation’s annual production, according to the authority...

A coffee plant in Uganda, shot by Nathan leibel, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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