Govt sets dates for vanilla harvesting

From Agencies,

The government has announced that harvesting of vanilla for season A, shall start on July 6, 2020, through July 30, 2020.

State Minister for Agriculture Aggrey Bagiire made the remarks on Thursday while addressing the media about the current status of Uganda’s vanilla value chain, in light of the most recent developments in the Global Vanilla market at the Uganda Media Center.

Bagiire said farmers are required to pick only mature ripe beans and any trader found in possession of unripe beans will be dealt with by the government.

“I would like to direct my Ministry staff, the Agriculture Police, to work closely with other actors to ensure effective implementation of this declaration,” he said.

He further advised all farmers, traders and other vanilla actors to comply with the directives of President Museveni and the guidelines of the Ministry of Health on COVID- 19, before, during and after the harvesting period.

According to the minister, annual global consumption of vanilla has averaged between 2,100MT to 2,400 MT, over the last 10 years.

“Uganda’s average exports over the last 5 years, were 31.44 MT valued at UGX 20.57 Billion according to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA),” he told the media.

He revealed that vanilla is the world’s second most expensive spice after saffron, because of its multiple uses.

“In the past 3 years, vanilla prices have been extremely high due to a shortage in global supply triggered by a devastating cyclone which affected gardens in Madagascar – the world’s largest producer,” said Bagiire.

According to the World Bank Commodity Markets Outlook of April 2020, the ensuing economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic may further translate into considerably lower commodity prices in 2020.

In a market situation where supply meets or even exceeds demand, Bagiire said buyers and consumers generally demand high-quality products.

“To harness the best opportunities of such a global vanilla market situation, we must of necessity, identify and emphasize strategies that guarantee high quality of vanilla that we put on the market in order to ensure a sustainable and better price for farmers.”

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