Uganda's cocoa export earnings are projected to rise by 16 per cent this year from maturing trees and better prices at the international market. Data from the Cocoa Development Project shows that Uganda exported 19,439 tonnes of cocoa worth $46.6 million last year, up from 17,935 tonnes worth $43 million exported in 2012. This represents approximately eight per cent growth in both volume and value. CDP co-ordinator at the Uganda's Ministry of Agriculture , Animal Industry and Fisheries John Muwanga Musisi said the higher prices for the crop on the international market coupled with maturing cocoa trees whose planting started in 2005, led to the surge in earnings. Mr Musisi said Uganda sold its cocoa exports for $2,400 per tonne last year, up from $2,300 in the previous year. Uganda's cocoa trees have increased from one million in 2005 to 5.7 million tress in 2013, according to CDP data. "Favourable weather for the entire year characterised with much rain also contributed to the better earnings," Mr Musisi said. He said the country now expects to export 22,000 tonnes of cocoa this year as production increases, earning the country at least $54 million. Uganda's cocoa is mainly exported to European and Asian markets. A UK -based research firm, Euromonitor International Ltd , said the global sales of chocolate confectionary are expected to grow 2.1 per cent to a record 7.3 million tonnes next year, after a two per cent gain in 2013. The firm said the volume of cocoa butter consumption is also projected to grow by 110,000 tonnes up to 2016.
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