The 7th edition of the Coffee Tasting Day dubbed “Festicoffee” ends today in Yaounde on the theme “Act now for Coffee.”
Cameroon’s coffee production has been declining over the years. In the 90s, production stood at 130,000 tons but today, total national production stagnates at 25,000 tons. The disturbing production explains the choice of the theme of the seventh edition of the Coffee Tasting Day dubbed FESTICOFFEE which is “Act Now for Coffee.” With the theme, the National Cocoa and Coffee Inter-professional Council, organiser of the Festicoffee, is seeking ways of reawakening producers and rebound production. It also intends through the organisation of the coffee tasting events in different production basins (23 towns and 85 localities) encourage local consumption. Alongside the National Cocoa and Coffee Board, the Ministry of Trade and producers’ organisations, the objective of the coffee festival is to stir awareness of coffee production, its virtues and the need for Cameroonians to consume made-in Cameroon coffee, whose taste the Minister of Trade says is unique in the world. As explained by the CICC Communications Officer, Yves Abissi, the theme warrants urgent action to resuscitate Cameroonian coffee sector. According to CICC, it is possible to relaunch the sector given that Cameroon is endowed with conditions favourable for coffee production such as fertile soils for the cultivation of both Arabica and Robusta coffee, ideal climate and young and motivated population. Following the decline, the 2019 theme was inspired by three principal findings notably availability of improved plantlets, access to fertilizer and phytosanitary products and the youthful production force. This is why the CICC organised a brainstorming session dubbed “Tribune Café,” which regrouped experts and producers from different production basins to find ways of boosting coffee production as part of the coffee festival. While officially opening the event at the Yaounde Town Hall esplanade on Tuesday April 16, the Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana encouraged producers to produce more stating that with the passing into effect of the African Continental Free Market Area, there is a market of 1.3 billion consumers. While drawing from a study of a US renowned economist, Jeffrey D. Sacks, the Central and West Africa will be the major coffee production basin by 2050. He therefore used the opportunity to urge producers to produce for Africa for African consumption. The Minister of Trade accompanied by his colleagues of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gabriel Mbaïrobe and Madeleine Tchuenté of Scientific Research and Innovation to visit the several coffee exhibitions stands for the coffee tasting exercise.