70% of Uganda’s workforce is employed in the Agricultural sector. Agribusiness is the backbone of Uganda’s economy. In the 1990s, this sector grew at a rate of 3.5%. This was much slower than the other areas in the economy. A recent World Bank report shows that a quarter of Uganda’s GDP comes from the agriculture sector. A significant population in Uganda lives in rural areas. Several companies have been established to ensure farmers have a market for their produce, especially in the export markets.
- Divine Coffee Export Traders Uganda Ltd
Uganda grows Arabica coffee and has been recognized as one of the best in the world. The number of farmers growing coffee has increased significantly over the years. Divine Coffee Export Traders Uganda Ltd works with stakeholders and exports Uganda coffee to Europe, America, Middle-East, and Australia. This company works with coffee farmers, wholesalers, and roasters, to ensure there is quality control to ensure the coffee meets international standards.
2. KK Fresh Produce Exporters Limited
This is a limited liability company that is part of the agribusiness supply chain offering market solutions to Ugandan farmers. This company liaises with farmers in the export of fresh fruits and vegetables to Europe. Small scale farmers face a challenge when it comes to expanding production because they worry about getting market for their produce.
KK Fresh chose to focus on the development of these farmers by being a support system by enlightening farmers about the use of quality seeds, agrochemicals, irrigation, and fustigation. This company exports at least 200,000 tonnes of fresh food to Europe monthly. In addition to working with out-growers, this company has over 100 acres of land in Wabikokoma village.
3. Altus Foods Uganda Ltd
This Kampala based company exports fresh vegetables and fruits. It has a network of farmers from different parts of the country. It ensures that the farmers get quality seeds and use appropriate techniques in the production process to ensure the quality of produce meets the set international standards. Some of the foods exported include Karella, pineapples, green bananas, jackfruits, avocados, apple bananas, and sugar cane.
4. Tropical Dynasty Ltd
This company has been in the import and export business since 2004. It exports organic agricultural and horticultural products to Belgium, Sweden, the UK, and Holland weekly. An average of 50 tonnes of farm products are shipped monthly. Unfortunately, this company has not been able to meet the demand because of the low production levels. It has had to down demand from various markets. However, efforts are being made to boost production through education and facilitation of great farming practices to increase yield.
5. Uganda Tea Corporation Limited (UTCL)
Tea is one of the major exports from Uganda. This company has been in existence between 20years. It has three tea estates about 50km from Kampala. Uganda’s tea production has grown from 200,000kilos a year in the 1980s to over 3.5million kilos in recent years. This is one of the leading companies in the private sector involved in tea production and export. The estates being run by this company contributes at least 10% of the total tea produced in the country. 80% of the tea produced is exported. The company is currently making improvements in its production process through the introduction of more equipment and facilities to increase production.
6. Nkoola Agencies International
This company exports fresh fruits, cereals, herbal medicine products, cereals, beef products, and herbs. Most of these products are exported to other African countries, the Middle East and Asia. Beans are the grains primarily exported to Europe. Value addition is a critical part of the production process of this company. Tinned fruits and herbal medicine are some of the value-added products that are exported by this company. It works together with farmers and encourages diversification of crops grown to guarantee farmers income from multiple sources.
7. One Orchid
This company mainly grow fruits and vegetables for export. Some of the fruits grown include watermelons, pineapples, passion fruits, papayas, and yellow bananas. Growing these fruits organically is at the core of this company’s activities. They use organic manure and herbicides that have been tested and proven to be free of chemicals. It also works with other out-growers to increase the volume of exports. Education and training is a core part of the production process to ensure the exports meet international standards.
8. Nile Fresh Produce
This is one of the leading companies in Uganda that export fruits and vegetables to Europe, the USA, and Russia. This company is involved from the planting to the harvesting process. It works with small scale farmers to ensure only quality products find their way to the export markets. Training, education, and monitoring are critical in this company. A 36hour delivery period is also critical in the running of this company. This is to ensure the market receives fresh produce. Some of the agricultural products include tomatoes, egg plants, chives, and garlic. This company has partnered with importers, distributors, chains of supermarkets, food service industry, and wholesale markets.
9. Jay Fortune Limited
Established in 2008, this company exports vegetables, fruits, pulses, grains, and fish products. This company sources these products from local farmers in Uganda and the greater East Africa region. Besides meeting the demands of the export market, this company is committed to improving the livelihoods of the local farmers. It is also concerned about food security. This is why it is educating farmers of modern farming practices that will lead to increased yield of quality produce. It is also concerned about the protection of the environment in the farming practices used.
10. Amfri Farms Ltd
This company owns 1,500 acres of land where agricultural products are grown for export. It is a family run business located 85km north of Kampala. It exports fresh and dry produce. The fresh products include pineapples, ginger, passion fruits, apple banana, papaya, lemongrass, avocado, butternut, plantains, coffee, gooseberries, beans, and sweet potatoes. Some of the dried exports include papaya, pineapple, millet, carrots, beetroot, radishes, vanilla, and rosemary. This company also exports frozen fruit pulps.
Agricultural exports from Uganda have continued to grow over the years. Uganda currently makes approximately $2.3billion annually from the export of agricultural products. It intends to raise this amount to $8billion by 2020. Agricultural products make up 80% of the exports from Uganda. These companies play a critical role in supporting Uganda meet this target.