STOP IT! Government says immature vanilla harvesting is pushing away global buyers
Observing Vanilla harvest dates is crucial for the country to be able to achieve the vanillin content preferred by buyers on the international market.
While addressing the media on the declaration of the first 2022 season Vanilla harvest date, the state Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Kyakulaga Fred Bwino said that premature selling and buying of Vanilla must be contained to avoid the possibility of international buyers turning their backs on Uganda’s Vanilla.
According to Kyakulaga, declaring and respecting Vanilla harvest dates is crucial for the country to be able to achieve the vanillin content preferred by buyers on the international market.
“Simultaneously, traders and processors must ensure professional handling and processing of Vanilla to attain the highest possible vanillin content” Kyakulaga added.
Vanilla which is one of the strategic high value commodities that the Uganda government is promoting under the National Development Plan iii, is currently grown in over 28 districts of the country and according to the 2019 statistics Uganda supplied 2.8% of global Vanilla ranking it seventh on the global scale.
In its mandate of providing and enabling a policy environment that facilitates competitiveness of stakeholders in the agriculture sector, the Ministry has also committed its self to promote the best practices in Vanilla production and also to strengthen its value chain that had suffered a downward trend.
Vanilla is used as a spice for food, beverages, cosmetics and also for pharmaceutical purposes which makes it a highly demanded agricultural product both locally and internationally.
In the bid to improve the quality of the crop and promoting the country’s global position as the leading source of high-quality Vanilla, the Ministry further declared July 7th and onwards as the official harvest date for the first Vanilla season but also cautioned farmers to only pick ripe beans because this time government is putting a strong punitive action to anyone found harvesting before the stipulated date.
“I warn crop inspectors at the exit points that allow immature Vanilla beans to be exported contrary to their mandate to stop it or else this will lead to serious punitive measures against them” the Minister added.
According to the 2022/23 forecast, the global market is expected to be oversupplied by Vanilla and it’s expected that international buyers will place more stringent quality requirements on suppliers which calls for more improvement in quality.
Uganda exports its Vanilla in USA, Canada, and other European Union countries and this according to the government gives the nation an opportunity to harness a growing long term profitable Vanilla industry.