Uganda is an important global producer with significant uplift potential due to a high need for R&R and low current SHF yields

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R&R Need

~75% of total land is in need of R&R

SHF land in R&R need

‘000 hectares

108,000 ha No need
293,000 ha R&R need

Coffee trees in Uganda are on average 50 years old. Most of them would require renovation or intensive rehabilitation alongside with GAP.

Current SHF yield & potential uplift

Tons per hectare

Current yield
Target yield

Uplift potential


Significant potential for SHFs and national supply

Potential increase in supply


Total national supply could increase ~15-55% if R&R and GAP is implemented on all SHF land in need of R&R2

(1) The current yield is calculated on the basis of SHF production divided by SHF land area, the potential yield uplift comes from the GCP study on Uganda: GCP, Uganda: GCP: Economic Viability of Coffee farming, 2017 – this study cites an average SHF yield of 0.625 tons/hectare;
(2) Rounded to the nearest 5%, estimate assumes that R&R and GAP increase yields with 86%, and the range reflects a 25-100% R&R success rate. Sources: FAOstat,Coffee production and land under coffee, 2014; ICO production statistics; Deloitte, Uganda Economic Outlook 2016: The story behind the numbers, 2016

Other Viability Considerations

  • Coffee is the main cash crop in Uganda, contributing almost a third of foreign export earnings.
  • There is growing domestic consumption which might increase demand and need for localized processing.
  • High competition between traders promotes the trading and sale of poor quality coffee, with few incentives for the farmers to invest in improvement of the quality of their product. Price premiums for quality would incentivize farmers to invest.

Farmer Segmentation

Most SHFs are at the bottom of the pyramid

  1. Large & medium farmers
  2. Commercial farmers in tight value chains
  3. Commercial farmers in loose value chains
  4. Disconnected farmers

National production is dominated by SHFs

SHFs are predominately in loose value chains or weakly connected value chains, with unstable links to market. There are few (well functioning)aggregation points for farmers.

# SHFs



(~6-9% of global SHFs1)

# SHF land

‘000 hectares


(~95% of national land) – average farm size ~0.2-0.4 ha)

# SHF production

‘000 hectares


~90% of national production

Assessment of SHF orgs.

Coops are few and far in between and typically have low capacity.

Links to market

Sector is dominated by private sector agents and brokers at the aggregator level.

(1) Assuming a global SHF population of 20 million – estimates of farmers are high-level only and vary significantly;
(2)According to UCDA in Daily Monitor, Low consumption affecting Uganda coffee prices, incomes, 2016. Source: GCP, Uganda: GCP: Economic Viability of Coffee farming, 2017; FAOstat, Coffee production and land under coffee, 2014; ICO production statistics; Deloitte, Uganda Economic Outlook 2016: The story behind the numbers, 2016

Enabling Environment for R&R

  • Coffee share of GDP: 1.8% (2016)2.
  • The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the industry regulator, launched a National Coffee Strategy meant to increase export revenue from USD 0.5 B in2014/15 to USD 2.5 B by 2040.
  • Generally low availability of inputs and SHFs are reported to not apply the correct amount of nutrition to their trees.
  • UCDA launched a Robusta coffee nursery seedling multiplication program. UCDA worked with 132 private nurseries across 14 districts to improve their performance. The level of success varies by nursery.
  • Low availability.
  • There is little local experience with financing R&R and even finance for inputs and other ongoing production costs are limited for most farmers.
  • Low adoption of GAP and limited current availability of TA.
  • The Agricultural Sector Strategic Plan aims to train extension service workers across country, but limited funding has been provided so far.

Examples of R&R programs

No direct R&R programs were observed, but HRNS has been working on systemic capacity building

HRNS – Building Coffee Farmers’ Alliances in Uganda

The project sought to improve livelihoods of coffee SHF through improved coffee production and increased revenues. The first step was to aggregate producers into organized groups. The project also created the apex organization “Uganda Coffee Farmers Alliance (UCFA)”.

Learn more and get involved

There is a lot of work to be done to ensure the long-term supply of coffee from countries where the crop has long shaped the social and economic fabric. Learning to extend the life of their trees and improve yields helps farmers stabilize annual production and in turn, income, while the rest of the world benefits from a steady supply of quality coffee. Continue on to learn more about the immediate attention and action that is required to make this a reality.