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JUST IN: Government Sets Dates For Harvesting First Season Vanilla

By Our Reporter

 

NATIONAL

 

The Ministry of Agriculture has set dates in which Vanilla farmers should harvest the mature and ripe vanilla beans.

 

This was revealed by Hon. Fred Bwino Kyakulaga, the Minister of State for Agriculture while addressing the media regarding the vanilla harvest, pricing, and crop protection in Uganda today 19th June, 2024.

 

“I hereby declare that the vanilla harvest period for Season A, 2024 will start from 24th June 2024 and run up to 23rd September 2024. Growers should selectively pick mature or ripe vanilla beans,” says Kyakulaga.

 

The declaration of vanilla harvest date was introduced in 2019 as one of the proven best practices in curbing the vanilla challenges in the country.

 

The harvest date is a date when the Vanilla growers should start harvesting their Crops in a given Season. It is now five years since the Ministry spearheaded this initiative.

 

The Minister while acknowledging the current low prices for vanilla encouraged growers to keep their vines intact and their gardens healthy while the market situation strengthens over the next 12-18 months.

 

There are approximately 65,000 smallholder farmers engaged in vanilla growing in 38 districts across the country.

 

Uganda’s vanilla industry has made significant strides over the last five years between 2019 and 2023, with export revenue increasing from 4.1MT (US$ 4.47 million) in 2019 to 266.7MT (US$ 20.66 million) in 2023 (BoU, 2023), posing a percentage growth of 78%.

 

This growth is attributed to an increase in production owing to more growers embracing and appreciating the benefits of growing vanilla.

 

The main export destinations of Ugandan vanilla are; the USA with the highest consumption rate of (42%), followed by France (18.8%), Germany (11.8%), and Canada (4.3%).

 

Vanilla, often referred to as the “liquid gold” due to its high market value is a highly sought-after spice obtained from the pods of an orchid plant.

 

It is renowned for its distinctive, aroma, flavor, and numerous applications in culinary, beverage, confectionary, aromatherapy, and cosmetic industries making it the second most valuable spice after saffron.

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