Uganda targets $1bn from Organic produce exports

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The International Green Week was yesterday launched at Victoria Mall Entebbe with a call on Ugandans to produce and eat organic products which are deemed ‘health food’.

In Uganda the International Green Week has been promoted by National Organic Agriculture Movement Uganda (NOGAMU), an umbrella organization which unites producers, processors, exporters, NGOs and other institutions and organizations that are involved in the promotion and development of the organic sector in Uganda.

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A report on the current state of the organic food industry was provided with an analysis on opportunities available for Ugandans as well as threats against it (such as GMOs) was provided at the launch.

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Uganda is ranked the second largest organic producer in the world after India. Uganda has the fastest growing organic market globally and the capacity to take over India as the World’s organic super power with 1.2m farmers producing organic foods. Only 200,000 of these however, are certified to sell their products to different markets globally.

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This was revealed by chairman of National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU) Frederick Musisi Kabuye at the launch.

NOGAMU is an umbrella organization which unites producers, processors, exporters, NGOs and other institutions and organizations that are involved in the promotion and development of the organic sector in Uganda.

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Mr Kabuye expressed satisfaction with Uganda’s global performance, and called upon Ugandans to join in production of organic produce for export, given the comparative advantage the country enjoys. He also urged Uganda to eat organic products because they are deemed health and with no risk.

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Uganda earned $46m from exporting organic foods last year and their target is $1bn from exports in the next few years.

The government has joined NOGAMU in making sure that organic produce are well labeled in the market for the people to be able to differentiate them from other products.

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Some of the organic products grown organically and sourced from Uganda include cotton (lint, yarn and finished garments), coffee (Arabic and Robusta), sesame (simsim), dried fruit (pineapples, apple bananas, mangoes, jack-fruit), fresh fruits (pineapple, apple bananas, passion fruits, avocadoes, papaya (pawpaw), ginger), jack-fruit, , vanilla, cocoa, fish, shea butter and shea nuts, bird eyed chilies, dried hibiscus, honey and bark cloth.

Mr Kabuye noted that the organic foods unlike most of the other products have ready market almost everywhere around the world. “There is no excuse for markets, we can only hope that the trend remains like this,” he noted.

The International Green Week is celebrated worldwide with a call for the people to eat organic products.

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