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Bleak outlook for coffee earnings

RELIEVED—Kaunda (centre) hands over a pack to one of the farmers

As the world commemorated the International Coffee Day Thursday, some farmers and commentators said potential for the crop to rake in the desired revenue looks bleak as it attracts low prices due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union, which produces between 350 and 450 metric tonnes of coffee annually, says Covid-19 has also been a threat as major importing countries have been on lockdown.

The union which has six cooperatives of Misuku, Phoka, Viphya North, Nkhatabay Highlands, Mzimba and Ntchisi East, generate about K2 billion annually from coffee.

Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union Chief Executive Officer, Bernard Kaunda, said the international market has been greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is a threat because the major importing countries are under lockdown and this has affected the marketing,” he said.

He was speaking at a ceremony marking commemoration of the world coffee day in Mzuzu which coincided with a donation of social protection packs to over 354 coffee growing farmers worth K6.3 million.

Kaunda said the donation was made by one of the buyers, Sustainable Harvest.

The farmers were given packs worth K18, 000 each containing maize flour, rice, cooking oil, tablets of soap and sugar among other things.

One of the farmers, Edith Njorwa from Mlere zone hailed Mzuzu Coffee for the donation saying pangs of Covid-19 have not spared them.

Mzuzu Coffee has hit the Worlds Coffee popular markets of Japan, countries in Europe, America among others.

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