Burundi 2018 Coffee Crop Seen as High as 17,000 Tons, Body Says

(Bloomberg) -- The Burundi Coffee Farmers’ Confederation expects the country’s harvest to come in at 15,000 to 17,000 metric tons this year following good rainfall and increased fertilizer use.

Farmers will receive between 500 francs ($0.28) and 600 francs for every kilogram of cherry delivered to washing stations, the organization’s leader, Joseph Ntirabampa, said in an interview in the capital, Bujumbura. The price is too low for the 60,000 or so households that plant the bush, he said.

The government has not published production figures for coffee, a major foreign-exchange earner for the nation, in recent years. The International Coffee Organization estimates production reached 200,000 bags of 60 kg each in the 2015-16 season.

Farmers will start receiving payments from June 1 for cherry delivered since the start of the season in March, he said.

The nation is grappling with foreign-exchange shortages after international partners withdrew support to the state amid a political crisis triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s re-election into a third term in office. The nation earned 52 billion francs from exporting 10,000 tons of coffee in 2017, the presidency said in January.

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