AFCA commits to double coffee productivity

KAGERA: THE African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA-Tanzania Chapter) has committed to doubling coffee production in order to help the country achieve its target of producing 300,000 metric tonnes of coffee by 2025.

AFCA Chairperson, Mr Amir Hamza, also stated that efforts were underway to motivate farmers across the country by providing them with inputs and offering attractive prices.

Mr Hamza told the ‘Daily News’ in an interview at his office that AFCA is a regional non-profit, non-political, member-driven association representing the coffee sectors in 11 member countries: Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Cameroon, DR Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

“Founded in July 2000, AFCA organises trade missions for its members and also hosts and organises the ‘African Coffee Connection’ networking functions at international coffee events in coffee-consuming countries to enhance market linkages through networking and building trade relations,” he said. AFCA also hosts “Coffee Clubs” in AFCA member countries to facilitate networking among members. He added that AFCA is currently researching the feasibility of hosting regional coffee auctions.

According to Mr Hamza, AFCA is working closely with the Inter African Coffee Organisation (IACO), which comprises 25 member countries, to promote coffee productivity on the continent.

AFCA is expected to hold this year’s annual conference in Ethiopia, titled “Ethiopia 2024 Coffee Conference and Exhibition,” while Tanzania will host the annual coffee conference next year (2025).

However, he mentioned that one of the challenges facing the association is the trend where Africa exports raw materials and imports value-added products. “This negatively affects the coffee trade,” he said.

Data indicates that Africa produces about 10 per cent of the total global coffee production.

AFCA provides value through specific programmes that give members an advantage in the marketplace and protect the entire coffee industry’s interests at local and international levels. They proactively identify issues and develop strategies, according to Mr Hamza.

“AFCA collaborates with a host of development partners like USAID, the European Union (EU), the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), and others to develop and provide field intelligence on high-quality African Coffees, coffee producer and buyer-market linkages, unique value chain coffee information, and training,” he said.

“We have been in existence for over a decade now and have sought to promote the improvement of the quality of coffee in Africa, through initiatives such as on-farm training and improving the quality of the cup,” he added.

According to the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), world coffee production for 2023/2024 is forecasted to reach 171.4 million bags (60 kilogrammes), which is 6.9 million bags higher than the previous year.


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