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Coffee players launch Sh98bn export fund

coffee farmer
A coffee farmer in Kenya: ACF is focused on graduating from subsistence farming. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Coffee stakeholders have partnered with Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (Cabi) to launch a Sh98 billion fund to grow the export of the commodity by African producers by 40 percent annually.

Cabi is partnering with Inter-African Coffee Organisation (IACO) and the International Coffee Organisation to start Africa Coffee Facility (ACF) to increase annual export income to Sh515 billion.

The ACF is projected to transform production market, coming at a time earnings have been dwindling due to a decline in production attributed to climate change.

“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 enterprise to enhance the income of millions of smallholder farmers in the continent,” said Fred Kawuma, the secretary general of IACO.

In 10 years, ACF targets investing Sh51.6 billion in building a sustainable coffee supply, Sh10.3 billion in improving demand, market linkages and investments and Sh20.6 billion for putting in place climate change adaption and plans.

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Some Sh15.5 billion will be used in the global market place.

Coffee is a primary source of income to 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 Sh78.6 billion, followed by Uganda at Sh48.3 billion with Kenya coming in third at Sh23.7 billion.

ACF plans to enable 50 percent of farmers to plant climate-smart materials as part of a strategy to see one out of every five coffee growers adopt the system.

By doing so it is envisaged that farmers’ vulnerability to weather events such as flood and a drought will be reduced by 25 percent.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said there is a need to build the capacity for smallholder producers as well as revamp coffee organisations and empower women and youth through entrepreneurship development.

“This includes creating a value chain transformation from a subsistence to an entrepreneurial orientation among our small scale farmers,” said Mr Kiunjuri.

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