Local vanilla farmers urged to push up volumes

International vanilla buyers under the umbrella of Sustainable Vanilla Initiative have advised the Vanilla Exporters Association of Uganda to push up volumes above the current 22 metric tonnes that are produced per annum.

The grouping of the world's single largest buyers of Vanilla, is in the country to assess the compliance levels of the leading vanilla exporters.

The team said Ugandan vanilla farmers, have chance to earn more from the crop provided they meet the international standards.

They said that adherence to appropriate farm handling practices of the crop, will enable Uganda surpass the current small quantities of just 22 metric tonnes to the desired target of 100 metric tonnes in the next coupl;e of years.

The state minister for Agriculture Christopher Kibazanga, said the ministry was working with local exporters in order to improve the quality and quantity of vanilla.

Members of the Vanilla Exporters Association of Uganda led by Aga Ssekalala said they were keen on ensuring export of only mature semi processed vanilla into the US, EU and Asian markets. The Global Sustainable Vanilla Initiative said it was collaborating with the Catholic Relief Services to esnure quality supplies of vanilla vines to farmers in Uganda.

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