Africa Coffee Fund Proposed to Boost Production Across Continent

Africa’s 25 coffee-producing nations are being asked to support a new fund proposed by the African Development Bank and Inter-African Coffee Organization to boost output of the crop across the continent.

The fund will provide training and improve the financial literacy of farmers to make production more sustainable and profitable, IACO Secretary General Frederick Kawuma said in an interview Thursday in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

“The African Development Bank is very committed to this,” Kawuma said. “We are trying to reach out to partner states to support this initiative and the bank itself now wants to launch a product to offer to member countries.”

The Ivory Coast-based organization, which draws its membership from Africa’s coffee producing countries, is also promoting the formation of “viable farmer groups” to improve productivity, Kawuma said. With average productivity across the continent one-third of that in Asia and South America, the potential for boosting farmers’ incomes is high, he said.

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