AfricaCooperatives & Communities

ITC Supports coffee producers in Liberia through cooperative training

MONROVIA – The International Trade Centre [ITC] in partnership with the Farmers Union Network of Liberia [FUNL], has initiated a week-long training programme focused on the significance of cooperatives for coffee producers.

According the organisers, the objective of this initiative is to support coffee farmers in Liberia in establishing coffee cooperatives, thereby enhancing their revenues.

BThe ITC and FUNL are organising this programme under the ITC/ACP EU-funded Business Friendly Coffee Project of Liberia.

Prior to the Liberian civil war, the country played a significant role as a producer and exporter of cocoa and coffee products. However, since the war’s end, the coffee sector, in particular, has remained dormant. With support from the EU, the project aims to revive the coffee industry to improve the livelihoods of producers.


The project has already trained farmers in various aspects, including harvest and post-harvest losses, rejuvenation of aging coffee farms through stumping and pruning, and the cultivation of Robusta and Liberica coffee varieties. It has also facilitated regional visits to coffee-producing countries, fostering knowledge sharing and exposure to best practices.

During the commencement of the workshop, Ephrem Sabatigita, a coffee expert from Burundi, emphasised Liberia’s immense potential for coffee production.

He stressed the need to transition farming associations into cooperatives to make coffee more marketable. Sabatigita’s presence in Liberia aims to assess the coffee production environment and educate farmers on how to develop their coffee farming businesses effectively.

Harris B. Wennie, the Program and Project Director at the Cooperative Development Agency [CDA], expressed appreciation for the capacity-building efforts targeting farmers.

Wennie stressed the importance of educating farmers on the necessity of transitioning into cooperatives, emphasising that this approach is essential for coffee farmers to obtain fair compensation for their labor.

He noted that the coffee market is volatile, with many farmers currently selling their coffee to neighboring countries at minimal profit. Additionally, he highlighted an encouraging trend of inherited farms being reactivated by the new generation of coffee farmers.

ITC and FUNL, in collaboration with the CDA and the Ministry of Agriculture, are working towards establishing three coffee cooperatives in Bong, Nimba, and Lofa counties. This concerted effort aims to empower coffee producers, foster economic growth, and create sustainable livelihoods within the coffee sector.

Source: bnn

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