Burundi Counts on Women, Youth, Pygmies to Double Coffee Output

(Bloomberg) -- A World Bank funded coffee project in Burundi is counting on the involvement of youth, women and pygmies in the East African nation to double coffee production through 2022.

The $55 million Coffee Sector Competitiveness Support Project, which began in 2016, has already boosted output of the commodity to 18,000 metric tons from 15,000 tons, Communication Officer Richard Giramahoro said Thursday in an interview in the commercial capital, Bujumbura. The project gives subsidies for fertilizer and insecticides, training, grants for bicycles to farmers and provides motorcycles and vehicles for agronomists, he said.

“When the youth, women and pygmies are involved, we are sure we will achieve 30,000 tons in 2022,” Giramahoro said.

Burundi is targeting 22,000 tons of coffee exports in the season that starts in February 2019, compared with 18,000 tons in the current crop year, according to Emmanuel Niyungeko, the head of the industry regulator. Coffee generates more than 80 percent of the country’s foreign-exchange income and the government plans to boost the amount it spends on fertilizers for coffee farmers by 40 percent, according to Niyungeko.

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