Uganda has withdrawn from the International Coffee Treaty, with effect from February 2022, raising market concerns from stakeholders.
Dr Emmanuel Lyamuleme Niyibigira, the managing director of Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), communicated the decision to the International Coffee Organization (ICO) on September 10.
“We would like to notify the Depositary that the government of Uganda will not join the extension of the ICA (International Coffee Agreement) 2007 beyond February 1, 2022. We hereby request the ICO Secretariat to circulate this communication to all members of the organization,” the notice reads in part.
It, however, does not give reasons for the withdrawal, while Dr Lyamuleme did not also respond to our repeated calls to explain the decision.
However, sources within and close to the UCDA say the move was made without the approval of the board and government.
Sources add the decision may affect the country’s eight million coffee farmers.
According to the National Coffee Act Section 40(3), UCDA is required to profile, grade and certify coffee in line with the international standards issued by ICO and other international standard bodies.
If this is true, then it’s a big blow to the farmers…
Mr Usher Wilson Uwere, the president of National Organization of Trade Unions, yesterday said the move is not only scandalous but will also make local coffee lose market.