The agriculture ministers from 25 African coffee-producing countries met in Nairobi, Kenya, to sign a declaration, referred to as the ‘Nairobi Declaration’, to include coffee on the list of strategic commodities under the Africa Union.
The purpose of the statement is to raise the profile of coffee as a strategic commodity and to ensure that it attracts adequate funding and resources.
Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Peter Munya, said the signing of the declaration was a major milestone in the history of the coffee sector on the African continent. Munya explained the need to create an environment where coffee farmers can thrive with government support.
It is estimated that there are over 800,000 smallholder coffee farmers who market their produce through 500 Cooperative Societies across the country with 4,000 small to medium coffee estates with farm sizes ranging from 5 to 10 hectares and 100 large coffee estates with sizes of between 10 and over 200 hectares.Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya
There was also recognition of the challenges the countries faced with declining production, which were caused by a number of contributing factors, including environmental issues and price volatility.
Munya believes Kenya has introduced some reforms which have already produced some results.
As a result of these reforms, the Kenyan Coffee Industry is registering noticeable improvement with a realization from Sh18.73 billion (US$159.4k) in 2013/2014, Sh21.61 billion (US$183.9k) in 2018/2019 and Sh27.07 billion (US$230.5k) in 2020/2021 which translates to an increase of 33 per cent of coffee earnings between 2013/2014 and 2020/2021Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya
The government wants to point out their successes to encourage more young people to join the coffee industry, which, like many other countries, relies on an ageing workforce.
Eliasmusya, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons