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New opportunities for East African coffee farmers

By Grace Chomba

The new opportunities are meant to boost the coffee farming industry.

A new study from the International Trade Centre (ICT) came up with ways for East Africa’s coffee farmers which would bring high returns.

It reported that farmers can grab a big piece of the pie by participating in activities that add value to their crop.

The report that was launched last week at the African Fine Coffees Conference and Exhibition in Mombasa, Kenya, was a springboard to discuss how farmers could get better prices for raw beans, learn about branding and consumer marketing, and develop business partnership in foreign markets.

“While consumption is booming, many origin countries that rely on coffee for foreign exchange earnings are facing a crisis in prices, as well as a longer-term challenge of sustainability,” the report says.

“Without mitigating solutions, climate change threatens to destroy large growing areas. Other problems include high production costs, low yields, urbanization, ageing farming populations and lack of access to finance,” the report adds.

High-value activities

According to the International Trade Centre (ICT), new opportunities have emerged to set up direct to market sales channels and innovative relationship to roast, package and market coffee that would boost the coffee farming industry.

Farmers can sell their coffee locally, as markets in east Africa remain largely untapped.

The site also states that farmers can also export roasted coffee, sell through e-commerce channels or export raw coffee that is then roasted and packaged in the consuming country.

The report explained that the options are challenging by use of examples and case studies from Africa and elsewhere to illustrate tried and tested value addition models.

The site concludes that farmers can earn more profits from coffee if they developed direct sales to European markets, arrange for the raw beans to be roasted, packaged and marketed as branded coffees close to the end consumer.

These activities would be expensive in generating market awareness and repeated sales but worth. ?

 

 

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