The project aimed to demonstrate, on a pilot basis, that farmer incomes derived from robusta quality coffee production and processing could be significantly improved. This improvement came from the enhanced quality and yields from the coffee, as well as the production of gourmet quality robusta coffee. This was achieved through better crop husbandry, improved sun-drying/processing, and the introduction of some washed coffee processing. The production and processing work was linked to a focus on quality, including liquoring training and cup quality evaluation, as well as marketing, with promotion activities aimed at finding premium buyers for the coffee produced. The project components comprised: identifying the zones and participating farmer groups; extension training in crop husbandry; making seedlings of improved planting material available to farmers; improved processing of sun-dried robusta coffee targeting certain specialist buyers of fine quality sun-dried robustas; installation of washing equipment to produce washed robusta coffee; and training of farmers in the production of washed coffee; liquoring training for quality evaluation, and marketing and promotion activities to ensure premium prices are obtained. Good results were realised in respect to improving quality and productivity and enhanced supply of superior planting materials; provision of coffee drying equipment coupled with capacity building through training; supply of hand pulpers; and training of coffee liquorers. The activities associated with washed coffee were initially delayed but have now been implemented. Activities concluded in 2013. Some of these project outputs are summarized below:
• 1.5 hectares of existing nursery gardens were rehabilitated in Togo;
• Gabon imported high yield varieties from Cameroon;
• Production increased by 10 to 17% in both countries during the project period;
• Quality improved as the production of grade 1 Robusta coffee increased by 60% in both countries;
The project outcomes and experiences have been included in the final technical report as prepared by the PEA and endorsed by the ICO. Key information can be accessed through the link above (annex 1 and 2 in French). In case of any specific technical questions resulting from the report, the PEA (CABI-Nairobi) may be contacted directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).