SMALLHOLDER coffee production is poised for a rebound in Manicaland after Netherlands-based company, Nespresso, partnered Government and some local firms in training Honde Valley farmers in coffee production. In an interview with The Herald, Agritex extension officer Mr Douglas Nzarayebani said coffee production had suffered a significant decline in recent years due to poor market prices.
“At its peak, Zimbabwe used to be the second largest coffee producer after Brazil, but output gradually fell as farmers shunned coffee production due to the low prices offered by side marketers,” he said.
Mr Nzarayebani said of late, stakeholders in the sector were working with Government and private players such as Technoserve and Dutch-based company, Nespresso, on strategies to enhance the support, coordination and consequently coffee production.
“Currently, Technoserve funded by Nespresso is undertaking smallholder farmer training in coffee production in 10 Mutasa wards in the Honde Valley area,” he said. “Government is pinning hopes on this exercise to revive coffee plantations in the Eastern Highlands where coffee growing is most favourable.”
Mr Nzarayebani said baseline surveys by Technoserve were also conducted in Chipinge, Chimanimani and Vumba, adding that they were optimistic the coffee industry in Manicaland would be revived in no time.
(c) 2018 The Herald Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).