Uganda - 3.5.1 Food Suppliers

Food Exports

Uganda mostly exports agricultural products (80% of total exports) where the most important exports are coffee (22%) followed by tea, cotton, copper, oil and fish. Uganda’s main export partners are Sudan (15%), Kenya (10%), DR Congo, Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, and UAE: Uganda Indicators (

  • Coffee is the main export commodity in Uganda in terms of value (555.7 billion USD in 2017) and fourth in terms of volume 313 K MT in 2019.31
  • Fish production is the second largest export in terms of value with a total of almost 179 million USD (2017).
  • Maize and beans are respectively 4th and 5th main export commodities in terms of value. Including other grains (sorghum, rice, sesame, and soya beans), they represent 11.5% of total exports in value.
    • Diverse variety of grains are produced across all regions in Uganda.
    • For maize the main production area is Eastern Uganda with about half production with the rest produced in Western, Central and Northern regions.
    • Most of Uganda’s grain production is grown by smallholders (ca. 80%) while commercial farms’ share is about 20% where the maize sub-sector is a source of income for about 3 million agricultural/farm households, more than 1,000 traders and exporters, according to UBOS statistics.
    • According to the Grain Council of Uganda TGCU there are about 200 consolidation centers or “Grain Regional Hubs” (GRH) across the country providing cleaning, grading, drying and other value-added services: The Grain Council of Uganda - Uniting key stakeholders in the grain value chains (


Food Imports

Rice and Wheat are by far the largest imported grain cereal commodities in Uganda in terms of volume and commercial value.

  • UBOS statistics show cereal imports by Uganda stood at USD 288.8 Million during the year 2017.
  • Grain cereals are imported from several countries, for example rice, is majorly procured from Pakistan, whereas Wheat is mainly imported from Russia, Argentina, and Ukraine.
  • Rice from Tanzania enters Uganda duty free under the Common External Tariff (CET) arrangement of the East African Community.
  • Uganda imports 95 per cent of wheat grain requirement costing over $121m and growing annually Wheat flour & milling is increasingly becoming an essential commodity.
  • Most of the Uganda major domestic buyers are located in greater Kampala.
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