Uganda poised to meet growing demand for finished products in Eastern Europe and China

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has offered reassurance to Ugandans that the country is primed to tap into the rising demand for their value-added products in international markets, particularly in Eastern Europe and China.

In a recent virtual message to the nation, President Museveni emphasized the importance of adding value to agricultural products, underlining that the third crucial step in this process is securing a robust market for these enhanced goods. The President highlighted that Uganda is well-positioned to harness a multitude of markets, not only within its own borders but across East Africa, Africa as a whole, and notably in Eastern Europe and China.

Of particular significance is the unique market opportunity presented by Eastern Europe and China, where the preference for purchasing already finished goods is a marked departure from the practices of some Western countries that have historically exploited Africa by purchasing raw materials at substantially lower prices.

Speaking about this remarkable shift, President Museveni said, “Instead of buying raw materials as some Western countries have been doing, these Eastern European and Chinese markets are eager to acquire our finished products. For instance, consider our coffee trade: we sell it unprocessed at $2 per kilogram, but astute individuals in these markets process and add value to it, enabling them to sell it at $40 per kilogram.”

President Museveni urged Ugandan farmers not to miss out on this promising opportunity. He encouraged those involved in coffee production to continue growing their crops and advised those in the value-addition sector to seize the chance to profit from the $40-per-kilogram market price. He further stressed that increased earnings for value-added products could influence the pricing of unprocessed coffee directly from the farm.

In his address, President Museveni also advocated for participation in commercial agriculture, emphasizing the importance of “ekibaalo” (calculation). He urged Ugandans to engage with government programs such as the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga to bolster their household incomes. The President also offered guidance to the youth, suggesting that those uninterested in agricultural pursuits should consider vocational and technical training. He emphasized that through the PDM and Emyooga initiatives, they could secure working capital to drive their enterprises.

Lastly, President Museveni advised that affluent individuals should look to the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) for low-interest loans, which they could utilize to expand their large-scale agricultural projects or launch new factories.

Statistics on Uganda’s Exports:

As of the latest data available, Uganda’s exports to China have been steadily growing. In recent years, the country has seen an increase in exports to China.

In 2021, Uganda exported $41.2M to China. The main products that Uganda exported to China were Oily Seeds ($14.3M), Gelatin ($7.47M), and Coffee ($7.31M), tea and fish are also prominent among these exports.

During the last 26 years the exports of Uganda to China have increased at an annualized rate of 25.4%, from $115k in 1995 to $41.2M in 2021.

The President’s encouragement to focus on value-added products aligns with this trend, as processed and value-added goods tend to fetch higher prices in international markets, particularly in Eastern Europe and China.

President Museveni’s vision of leveraging the appetite for finished products in these markets stands to significantly benefit Uganda’s economy and provide valuable opportunities for its citizens.

One thought on “Uganda poised to meet growing demand for finished products in Eastern Europe and China

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