ICO unveils measures to control coffee prices

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The International Coffee Organization (ICO) has announced measures aimed at improving global coffee prices.

Jose Sette, executive director of ICO, said the organization is mobilizing financial resources from the private sector and donors to support the sector, promoting coffee consumption and advocating the importance of coffee sector.

“We intend to ensure that the international coffee community not only receives a fair living income but also long term sustainability of the global coffee sector,” Sette said.

Sette also said the organization has lined up series of consultative meetings this year in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) during the relevant international forums.

The ICO, he said, is building a strong sector wide dialogue by engaging coffee stakeholders, development partners and civil society with the objective of identifying solutions, building consensus and setting measurable commitments towards a sustainable future for coffee growers and meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 124th conference that was opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta was attended by 4,500 delegates from all parts of the world.

According to the official, the global coffee consumption continues to grow at a healthy rate of 2 percent annually but millions of coffee growers have to sell their coffee at prices that have fallen by over 30 percent in the past two years.

Sette noted that many farmers are unable to cover even their production costs due to reduced use of inputs and maintenance of coffee trees.

Sette revealed that the current downward trend in prices is not expected to reverse in the near future and may even force some countries to abandon growing the cash crops due to climate change, pests and disease.

Adama.L