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Uganda Plans New Coffee Law to Govern Farming of Its Key Export

Uganda, Africa’s top coffee exporter, plans to introduce a new law to regulate farming of the bean in a drive to boost quality and output for the nation’s main commodity export.

The new legislation will replace a 1991 law that only covers post-farm activities such as marketing and processing, according to the National Coffee Bill that’s currently under consideration by lawmakers. The law would widen governance to issues related to planting materials, harvest and post-harvest handling, research and climate change.

“Issues relating to the generation of planting materials, harvesting and drying of coffee are not covered under the current law,” according to the agriculture ministry. “It is therefore imperative to reform the law as it does not meet the current needs and long-term goals of the government.”

Authorities also intend to register all coffee farmers for monitoring, according to the bill.

Uganda, Africa’s second-biggest coffee grower after Ethiopia, forecasts production at 5.6 million 60-kilogram bags in the 12 months through September, and projects output climbing to 20 million bags in 2025. The country largely produces the robusta variety and the bulk of the beans are exported.