Africa concerned about decreasing coffee production
20 November 2014, 16:08
Kampala - African coffee growing and producing states are highly concerned about the dwindling growing and production of coffee on the continent which has reduced competition of the continent's producers in global markets.
The strong concern has been raised Thursday at the ongoing 54th international coffee organization (IACO)Aannual General Meeting in Kampala.
Over 200 participants from allover the world are attending the meeting.
Participants including growers, producers, agriculture ministers, legislators and other stakeholders resolved to find strategies on how to revitalise coffee growing on the continent.
Ugandan coffee dealer, Robert Mugulusi attributed the decline in coffee production in Africa to unstable coffee prices.
''Fluctuating prices of coffee on international markets have affected coffee growing in Africa. When prices fall very low, some farmers cut down coffee trees and plant other cash crops with better market prices.''
The chairperson of IACO who is the fisheries minister for Uganda, Ruth Nankabirwa., pointed out some of the challenges that the sector is facing but mentioned that governments are working on increasing agriculture funding to revive the sector.
Nankabirwa said, ''There are many challenges including diseases, droughts and lack of labour to work on the plantations. The drugs used in fighting coffee diseases are very expensive and some farmers cannot afford them.''
The commissioner for agriculture at African Union, Rodha Peace Tumisiime said African states that grow coffee should work towards eliminating hunger and poverty.
She said, ''By 2025, all African states growing coffee should have worked towards achieving reducing hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition and reducing poverty.''
The chairperson parliamentary committee on agriculture in Uganda, Matia Kasamba urged all youth to get back to the growing of coffee as their grand parents did if the sector is to be revitalized than moving to towns for white color jobs.
A coffee grower from Tanzania, Dennis Morobo, said that coffee wilt and other diseases have become a menace to coffee growers.
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