Liberia: ITC Identifies Buyer for Liberian Coffee

Coffee exporter negotiates with farmers on fair price

The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Farmers Union Network of Liberia (FUNL), a local partner, have linked Liberian coffee farmers with a local exporter to give attractive prices to farmers for their coffee beans.

The local coffee farmers are beneficiaries of the ACP Business Friendly Coffee Project of Liberia which is implemented by the ITC and FUNL with support from the EU.

The ACP coffee project, since its inception in 2022, has provided various forms of training to coffee farmers including harvest and post-harvest management, quality control in harvest and processing and skills in the rehabilitation of old coffee farms to improve yields.

The goal is to resuscitate the coffee sub-sector of Liberia after years of neglect.

However, the market for the coffee beans remains a challenge. Coffee farmers in the country are experiencing difficulties in getting a fair price for their produce.

The variety of the coffee being produced by many of the local farmers from old farms is said to be Liberica coffee which is indigenous to the nation.

There is a report that said that the greater amount of the coffee variety was exported to the international market before the country’s civil war.  

Currently, many of the producers are most times forced to sell their beans to neighboring countries at a very low price.

But, the ACP coffee project in the country is intending to change that narrative.

Recently, the Project  identified a local exporter of agricultural produce Sheik Abu Turay, of the Liberation Group of Companies INC, and introduced him to the coffee farmers in three counties including, Bong, Nimba and Lofa.  

Farmers within the three counties discuss the price for coffee

The project engaged with the representatives of coffee farmers in the three counties during the past weeks for a fair price.

Coffee cooperatives engaged during the tour include Salayeae Coffee Farmers Cooperative , Zorzor Coffee Farmers Cooperative, Voinjama Coffee Farmers Cooperative, and the Garmue Coffee Farmers Cooperative and among others.

During the separate meetings the farmers expressed joy to have, at long last, received a stable buyer. 

“We are happy that we can find someone to discuss the price of our coffee. We look forward to a fruitful business atmosphere between us and the exporter, said Habacus Jallah of the Kolahun Coffee farmers Cooperative in Lofa County.

The farmers claimed to have a total of 150 metric tons of coffee stored in warehouses. 

The  local exporter offered the farmers an attractive price for their coffee beans and said the price may increase depending on the quality of their produce in the future.

The entire exercise brought together a total of 112 coffee farmers who were representatives of 13 farmer groups in the three counties.

The local coffee exporter, Sheik Abu Turay, said that he was pleased that the farmers were willing to transact business with him and promised to continually engage the farmers for business in the future.

Meanwhile, the National Project Coordinator of the ACP Business Coffee project in Liberia, Emmis Varney told the farmers that the project remains focused on working with them.

He said that plans are underway to provide more training and to ensure the provision of inputs to make the farmers more productive under the program within the next few years.