Government will start registering vanilla farmers with the aim of addressing the increased theft and premature vanilla harvesting which ultimately compromises the quality of the Uganda’s vanilla.
According to Christopher Kibazanga, the minister of state for Agriculture, the demand for vanilla has globally increased with favourable prices but the quality is still wanting.
In Uganda, prices reached as high as Shs 250,000 per kilogramme in July 2018 for green vanilla beans.
Kibazanga said the international market for natural vanilla is currently threatened by the poor quality vanilla from Uganda.
‘If we can work together to address practices that reduce the quality of vanilla, Uganda can certainly become number one supplier of the best quality vanilla in the world,” the minister said.
Alex Lwakuba the commissioner crop production at the ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries said government has now declared June 15 onwards, as the vanilla harvest date for the first season and December 15 for the second season.
“Government will take strong punitive action against anyone found harvesting, or in possession of green vanilla beans outside these dates,” Lwakuba said.
He said this is aimed at checking the quality and quantity of the beans sold on the international market.
Recent reports indicate that in 2017 and 2018, Uganda produced about 300,000 kilogrammes of vanilla and exported 23,000 kilogrammes of cured vanilla worth $ 6.40 million to USA, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Israel, South Africa, Turkey and Hungary.
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