Cocoa is ranked among the high-value export commodities that offer great economic opportunities for increasing farmers’ incomes and foreign exchange earnings for the country. Statistics show that the production of cocoa and export earnings from the commodity have been steadily increasing.
NAADS is supporting the cocoa development programme by availing planting materials to farmers as well as support to post-harvest handling facilities. Since FY 2013/14, NAADS has distributed over 20 million cocoa seedlings contributing to the increased production of cocoa by 9%.
Cocoa is Uganda’s fourth-biggest commodity export after coffee, tea and fish. Cocoa production in Uganda has seen a steady increase over the last few years. Cocoa is a perennial crop that responds well in rainy tropical areas, with a maximum annual average of 30 – 32ºC. It thrives under shades and in areas with annual rainfall between 1,500mm to 2,000mm.
In Uganda, cocoa is grown in a number of districts where the conditions are suitable for cultivation mainly in the central region, western and southeastern and southwestern regions, and some parts of the eastern region mainly in Busoga region.
In the past decade, the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is running a campaign to popularize cocoa as a cash crop Now, the country is fetching more from the export of the crop. Fetching more than $2 a kilogram on the Local Market, cocoa farmers are cashing in on their harvest. Most of the cocoa beans produced in Uganda are exported in raw form to European countries