Coffee production in Rwanda

Coffee production in Rwanda

Nairobi, Kenya, 5 November, 2019 – The Inter African Coffee Organisation (IACO) has joined forces with the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) and the International Coffee Organization (ICO) to launch the $950 million ‘Africa Coffee Facility’ (ACF) to boost Africa’s coffee industry and achieve a 40 percent increase in high-quality exports worth $5 billion a year.

The ACF is projected to transform Africa’s coffee production – currently 10 percent of the global coffee market – into a vibrant and resilient industry again. Coffee is a primary source of income for more than 12 million households in Africa and contributes a significant proportion of tax income in a number of these countries. The largest annual export value of African countries is recorded by Ethiopia at $762.8m annually, followed by Uganda ($468.4m), Kenya ($229.5m) and Tanzania ($129.2m).

Speaking at the event, Permanent Secretary Mr Harry Kimtai, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, said, “We need to build the capacity of our smallholder producers as well as revamp our producer organizations, empower women and the youth through entrepreneurship development. This includes a value chain transformation from a subsistence to an entrepreneurial orientation among our farmers.”

This year the Government of Kenya allocated 3 billion Kenya Shillings (equivalent to USD 30 million) towards supporting coffee producers.

Dr Fred Kawuma, Secretary General of the IACO, said, “Africa produces some of the highest-quality and much-loved coffee in the world but its contribution to the global coffee trade has declined significantly since the 1970s when nearly a third of all coffee was produced on the continent.

“The ACF is an ambitious fund which seeks to attract private and public sector investment to transform Africa’s coffee industry from a subsistence to a commercial or entrepreneurial approach where millions of smallholder coffee farms will see their livelihoods significantly enhanced.”

This first ever Donors and Partners Conference has been held under the theme “financing the African coffee value chain through the Africa Coffee Facility” and was attended by development partners, bilateral donors, banks, foundations, private sector and the coffee farming community amongst other stakeholders.

It is anticipated that the ACF, which will be hosted by Afreximbank, will also develop and promote domestic consumption of coffee set against the challenges of climate change and the need to empower more younger farmers and women into the sector.

Key aims of the ACF – over its 10-year tenure – will be to invest $500m on building a sustainable coffee supply, $100m on improving demand, market linkages and investments, $200m on putting in place climate change adaptation and environmentally resilient practices and $150m promoting knowledge management and dissemination.

Partners and potential donors at the forum heard how Africa’s coffee value chain must see vast improvements in production and cooperative systems, many of which have either deteriorated or collapsed, in order to compete in the global market place.

Dr Denis Seudieu, Chief Economist, the International Coffee Organization, said, “Although many initiatives have been taken in some countries, many challenges still hamper the achievement of a sustainable coffee sector in Africa. However, there’s opportunity to move the African coffee sector from a subsistence to an entrepreneurial one. This will enable our farmers to have sustainable income generation and a long-term security of their livelihoods.”

Part of the ACF’s mission, in looking to improve the quality of Africa’s coffee free from crop pests and diseases, making it safe to consumers – an area in which CABI specialises.

Dr Morris Akiri, Regional Director, CABI Africa, said, “CABI is delighted to be working in partnership to help create an African coffee industry which is resilient to climate change and strong enough to compete and succeed in a highly competitive and often volatile global market.”

He added that the organization will not only work to help put the latest knowledge and skills on coffee pest management into farmers hands in the field but also to disseminate information, skills and best practice along all points of the coffee value chain.

It is expected that the initial funding of almost $1bn will be achieved in the first five years with more to follow as the fund gains momentum.

The ACF plans to enable 50 percent of farmers to plant climate-smart materials as part of a strategy to see one out of every 5 coffee farmer adopting climate smart productive systems. By doing so it is envisaged that farmers’ vulnerability to weather events, such as floods and drought, will be reduced by 25 percent.

CABI, in working as partners of the ACF, brings a range of expertise along the coffee value chain including past experience of guaranteeing credit to coffee farmers in Ethiopia and Rwanda by improving processing practices by smallholders, boosting coffee production in Kenya and Malawi through a combination of new planting materials, improved fertilizer use and better pest control measures, and helping farmers to adapt to climate change.


Notes to editors

Media enquiries

David Onyango, Communication Specialist, CABI, email: Tel: +254725 525 540

About International Coffee Organization

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) is the main intergovernmental organization for coffee, bringing together exporting and importing Governments to tackle the challenges facing the world coffee sector through international cooperation. Its Member Governments represent 98% of world coffee production and 67% of world consumption. The ICO’s mission is to strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its sustainable expansion in a market-based environment for the betterment of all participants in the coffee sector.

About Inter Africa Coffee Organisation

IACO is an intergovernmental organisation serving the interests of the African coffee industry to enhance the image and position of Africa’s unique coffees in the global coffee industry, ensuring it is competitive and sustainable, while maintaining quality and productivity for all stakeholders involved. IACO comprises of the following 25 African coffee producing countries: Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

About CABI

CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

Through knowledge sharing and science, CABI helps address issues of global concern such as improving global food security and safeguarding the environment. We do this by helping farmers grow more and lose less of what they produce, combating threats to agriculture and the environment from pests and diseases, protecting biodiversity from invasive species, and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge. Our 49 member countries guide and influence our core areas of work, which include development and research projects, scientific publishing and microbial services.

About Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries-Kenya

The Ministry through its specialist institutions namely, Agriculture Food Authority (AFA)-Coffee Directorate, Kenya Agriculture Livestock and Research Organization (KALRO – Coffee Research Institute and the Commodities Fund, working closely with County Governments and smallholder coffee farmers provide facilitative policy & regulatory environment, research support/development of technologies and financing solutions to meet the dynamic needs of the sector.

In a bid to revitalize the coffee sector that supports the livelihoods of over 700,000 smallholder farmers who are directly dependent on the sector the Government has set aside US $30 Million financing facility and embarked on reforms including subsidized inputs and modernization of coffee processing equipment in cooperatives across the country as part of the President’s Big 4 Agenda aimed at spurring production back to 100,000MT level.