Why coffee producing African countries not trading as a region?

January Coffee earnings up 90% to Ksh.10.2 billion

Kenya among other coffee-producing African countries needs to invest more in the infrastructure to boost value addition and consumption.

This is according to the  Inter African Coffee Organization (IACO) Secretary-General Solomon Rutega who said it will help open up opportunities for youth  inspire a new generation of coffee producers and expand coffee trading regionally under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

“We need to look at the value addition side of the investment in the infrastructure so that young people can start drinking coffee. This is another way of creating price stability. If we start drinking this coffee we don’t wait for the EU to determine what price we should get. If we start trading within ourselves as a continent we will have more leverage in engaging the global buyers,” said Rutega.

Rutega said only 13 million bags are exported from Africa while the global production stands at approximately 140 million exports.

He was speaking over the weekend when he met stakeholders in the coffee sector at Kilimo House in Nairobi ahead of the first G25 African Coffee Summit to be held at Safari Park Hotel between May 25 to May 27, 2022.

The intergovernmental organization praised the coffee reforms in Kenya to revamp the sector by stabilizing the prices.

In the year 2021/22 coffee prices improved at the  auction and recorded an average of Ksh.39,000 per 60kg bag from Ksh.35,000 in the previous year

According to data from the International Coffee Organisation, Kenya, known for high-quality arabica production, produced approximately 775,000 60 kilograms of  bags in 2020 placing the East African country as the  fifth-largest coffee producer in Africa.

This means that the remaining 5 percent  of the country’s coffee production is consumed domestically.

Currently, Ethiopia, and Uganda are ranked as the Africa’s largest coffee growers that have posted  increased production for the last 10 years. In Ethiopia, Arabica coffee is mostly grown in the forest areas with the country producing almost 200,000 metric ton of coffee every year.

A total of 169.6 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee were produced worldwide in 2020, with the top 10 biggest coffee-producing nations accounting for 87 percent  of the commodity’s market share.

The African Coffee Summit will give the continent the leverage to address the challenges faced by the African coffee sector under the auspices of the African Union to build a united and integrated Africa. The outcome of the summit is the Nairobi Declaration of the G25.

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