By Mohamad Matovu
Coffee Tourism Uganda will on December 6, host the first Coffee and Tourism Symposium and Exposition at Golden Tulip Hotel in Kampala.
Under the theme, “Unlocking Uganda’s coffee industry potential ” the event will bring together key stakeholders in the coffee and tourism industry to discuss issues concerning cash crops and the strategies of making it a success.
It is being organised by Coffee Tourism Uganda, in collaboration with the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and the Uganda Local Government Association.
The government of Uganda has target of increasing production and exports to export 20 million (60kg) bags by 2025 up from the current around 4.6 million bags.
Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the managing director of UCDA said: “Uganda Coffee Development Authority is determined to move Uganda’s position from just a top African producer to a top global exporter of premium coffee.”
He added: “We believe that partnering with the tourism fraternity in this symposium will enable us achieve this target sooner rather than later.”
The organizers said that coffee tourism involves linking coffee farmers to consumers under a farm-to-cup approach, with consumers touring farms and sharing their experience with the farmers. The feedback from the tourists would aid efforts geared towards increased production and quality output of coffee and hence boost returns.
Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO of UTB said that bringing consumers to the farms and ensuring they have all the amenities they need in terms of transport, accommodation and on-farm experiences will encourage incremental earnings as farmers and those in the hospitality and tourism industries gain prominence due to global exposure.
At least 180 delegates and 20 exhibitors are expected at the inaugural event, organisers said.