Cash Crops – Economy of Uganda

Cash Crops of Uganda

Uganda’s agricultural landscape thrives on the cultivation of diverse cash crops that serve as economic pillars, shaping the country’s export profile and sustaining livelihoods across rural communities. Foremost among these crops is coffee, a cornerstone of Uganda’s agricultural identity and a vital contributor to its economy. The country’s rolling hills and fertile soils provide ideal conditions for the cultivation of both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, each thriving in distinct regions across the nation. From the misty slopes of the Bugisu sub-region to the high altitudes of the Mount Elgon area, Arabica coffee flourishes, prized for its distinct flavor profiles and high quality. Meanwhile, the robust and hardy Robusta variety dominates in Central Uganda, West Nile, and parts of the Eastern region, thriving in diverse climatic conditions and contributing significantly to Uganda’s total coffee production. The coffee industry not only represents a substantial portion of Uganda’s export earnings but also serves as a source of income for numerous smallholder farmers, showcasing the crucial role agriculture, particularly coffee farming, plays in the country’s socio-economic fabric.

Major Cash Crops of Uganda


Known as the “Pearl of Africa,” Uganda is renowned for its coffee production. Arabica and Robusta coffee beans are cultivated in various regions across the country. Coffee is a major export commodity and a vital source of income for many smallholder farmers. Regions like the Bugisu sub-region and Mount Elgon area are famous for their Arabica coffee, while Robusta is grown in regions like Central Uganda, West Nile, and some parts of Eastern Uganda.


Uganda’s tea industry is growing steadily, with tea being cultivated in areas like Bushenyi, Fort Portal, and other parts of Western Uganda. The country produces both black and green tea, contributing to export revenues and providing employment opportunities in tea estates and factories.


Cotton cultivation is widespread in Uganda, particularly in regions like Eastern Uganda, West Nile, and some parts of the North. The cotton industry supports the textile sector and provides raw material for the production of fabrics and garments.


Cocoa farming is gaining prominence in Uganda, especially in regions like Central Uganda and parts of the West. The country produces fine-flavor cocoa beans that are used in chocolate production and contribute to the growing global demand for high-quality cocoa.


Oilseeds such as sesame, soybeans, sunflower, and groundnuts are cultivated in various parts of Uganda. These crops are valuable for their oil content and contribute to the production of cooking oil and other edible products.


Uganda produces both flue-cured and sun-cured tobacco. The crop is cultivated in regions like West Nile, Central, and Eastern Uganda. Tobacco farming contributes to the agricultural sector and serves as a source of income for farmers involved in its cultivation.