Coffee is the highest-earning export crop in Uganda. In 1989, Uganda’s coffee production capacity exceeded 2.3 million bags, but the volume of exports was still diminished by economic and security problems, and large quantities of coffee beans were still being taken out of Uganda to be sold in neighboring countries.

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Uganda is one of the few native coffee grower countries in the world. Robusta is one of their most popular plant, which is growing wild around Lake Victoria. Coffee takes a huge part in the Ugandan export economy. No wonder the country is one of the largest producers of coffee in the world. Some regions in Uganda have the perfect combination of soil and climate to produce one of the best coffee in the world.

To see the evolution of coffee in Uganda, in 1925 coffee made up only one percent of the country’s exports. However, it became a more and more important corp in countries life. The number of smallholders who planted coffee also increased. By 1940 the coffee industry grows so big that it became the country’s principal export. After they gained independence, the government passed a Coffee Act in 1969 that gave full control to the Coffee Industry Board overpricing.

In the early 1990s, the industry became more and more liberalized. The government was totally independent in the industry, they only offered a role in marketing. The Ugandan Coffee Development Authority began to relax rules, allowing better traceability and better access to Ugandan coffee. Each smallholder started to build their own brands and reputations.

Robusta is still the primary coffee export, and Uganda is building a reputation for good-quality coffee beans. The Arabica type can also be found in Uganda, but the production remains relatively small.


In Uganda, the best coffees usually come from producer groups or cooperatives. The Uganda coffee can be described with two terms: Wugar (washed Ugandan Arabica) and Drugar (dried Ugandan Arabica).


The cups from Ugandan Robusta are usually sweet, full of dark fruits, and have a clean finish.