VALUE addition, increased domestic consumption and promotion of more regional trade are among the measures that can boost sustainable resurgence of the African coffee industry.
This was said by African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA), Board Chairman, Ishak Lukenge during the launch of the AFCA Specialty Coffee Expo in Zanzibar on Wednesday.
Mr Lukenge, who is a Ugandan major coffee farmer, said economic viability of coffee farming and all other stakeholders throughout the value chain must play part in the coffee industry and all associated with it.
He said the African coffee industry had stuttered for years despite efforts made by governments, private sector players and development partners to design programmes aimed at addressing challenges facing coffee farmers.
"We have participated in many forums to address this important issue, including partnerships with ICO, GCP, WCPF among others," said Mr Lukenge.
However, he noted that they had realised that one of the ways of price mitigation and assured farmers of stable coffee price through value addition and increase consumption to promote regional trade by utilising the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), agreement."
He insisted that it was only through value addition that farmers would enjoy stable price and pleaded with local consumers to go for local products.
"If you want to build Africa buy African coffee," he urged.
Tanzania Coffee Board Aggregate Director General, Primus Kimaryo lauded African coffee brands as the best in the world, but expressed concerns over low domestic consumption and unpredictable price in the world market.
Tanzanian peaberry coffee has always been hailed as the best and incontestable coffee brand in Africa and the rest of the world, followed by Ethiopian, Kenyan and Ugandan brands.
Mr Kimaryo stressed the need to increase production, noting that Tanzania was producing below one per cent of the world's total production of coffee, with the entire African continent producing only 12 percent.
The chairman of Tanzania Coffee Board, Mr Amir Hamza, said the domestic market was flocked with imported brands, which were not as best as local ones.
"We should consume more of our locally produced coffee, which has the best taste compared to imported brands," he noted, adding that coffee had many health benefits.
Earlier, AFCA Executive Director, Samuel Kamau said Zanzibar would for the first time host the AFCA Specialty Coffee Expo between October 30 and 31. "With over 500 international industry traders, producers, buyers and professionals set to attend the event.
The Expo will offer the Tanzania coffee industry a unique opportunity to market its coffee to international buyers." The guest of honour, Deputy Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Ali Khamis Juma urged coffee stakeholders in the country to explore opportunities in the coffee industry value addition chain.
"The most important part of the Expo will be training.
It will build local capacity in Mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar and across the continent," the deputy principal secretary said.