make African Robusta coffee competitive

With this resources available, ACRAM moves to structuring the various priority projects in all member countries. This structuring exercise led by the International Trade Center (ITC) took place in Lome on July 16-17.

It brought together delegates, both public and private sectors from ACRAM member countries whose Robusta coffee development projects are available.

"This program aims to develop investment, production, promotion and marketing policies for economic and social impacts in the coffee sector," said Hernan Manson, in charge of Agriculture Portfolio for the International Trade Center ( ITC).

"Producers' lives will be improved if the productions are improved and if they have opportunities for their production.The lives of entrepreneurs will be improved if they manage to produce competitively and they can sell," say the ACRAM leaders.

The density of the challenge imposes then that there is a unifying framework where the main actors bring their know-how for the success of the challenge. The European Union accompanies the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) coffee producing countries over a period of 5 years.

These countries also benefit from the technical support of ITC, which will be joined soon by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the World Bank.

The approach comes in response to the sector's diagnoses, which identified the lack of a strategic intervention framework, the low productivity of Robusta coffee farms, the shortcomings in plant renewal and regeneration planning, the high level of production, the average age of producers, the often degraded image of Robusta coffee, leading to a decline in the production of Robusta coffee in Africa and the impoverishment of coffee producers.

ACRAM has thus developed a program to boost production in African Robusta coffee producing countries in order to provide coffee growers with a favorable environment for growing and marketing their produce in a sustainable manner.

This will enable them to earn enough income from coffee growing, ensure a decent standard of living for their families and contribute to the national income.

"The current yield is between 300 and 400 kg per hectare whereas elsewhere the producers are at 2 or even 3 tons per hectare. In Africa, we are carrying out these actions to be able to allow to improve the quality , increase the production and go from 300kg to one ton per hectare ", entrusts to agridigitale, Enselme Gouthon, chairman of ACRAM.

The objectives of the program are in the context of a general price crisis and the need to increase the sources of income for small coffee producers.

The transformation will also be taken into account because the transformation and the development of the local market represents a real growth driver for all producing countries. The program will therefore help the development of this local market which represents at the same time an attraction for investments in this sector.

"If we start to generate interest in domestic consumption, to mobilize resources for processing, it can help improve the purchase price of coffee to farmers," believes President Enselme Gouthon.

The program will also support the private coffee sector and support the strengthening of public policies to attract investment.

In this regard, EU support will enable beneficiaries to: establish a permanent and active framework to promote research in the area of ​​robusta coffee development in Africa and ensure farmers' access to improved plant material; support effective extension services for the transfer of technology and the provision of services to stakeholders in the value chain.

It will also be a question of: developing a strategy in the logic of plantation renewal; empower farmers by developing and strengthening farmer organizations.

Finally, the program plans to increase women's participation in production and attract more young people; and promote the image of Africa's Robusta Coffee by highlighting its specificities and developing quality products and brands. This African label will boost the development of the sector and local consumption.

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