Vanilla Production In Uganda Surges As Farmers Battle Thieves
by Fred Ojambo & Matthew Hill, Bloomberg
Posted: 2018-03-07 15:28:08 EST

Uganda, the world’s fourth-biggest vanilla exporter, is boosting output to benefit from prices for the flavoring that’s more valuable than silver and have forced growers to hire armed guards to deter thieves.

The landlocked East African nation will produce about 100 metric tons this year, with potential to double that in future, according to Aust & Hachmann Canada Ltd., an affiliate of the world’s oldest vanilla company. While that’s far below the 1,600 tons top-grower Madagascar can produce, extra Ugandan output would diversify global supplies and see farmers of some of the world’s potentially best beans reap as much as $600,000 per ton, company director David van der Walde said.=

“Vanilla is an important crop and the government is promoting its quality and boosting security in growing areas,” said Opolot Okasai, director of crop resources at Uganda’s Agriculture Ministry. The Uganda Export Promotion Board says annual vanilla shipments ranged from 0.65 tons to 75.4 tons in the half-decade to 2016, the last year for which data is available.

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