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Friday, 22 September 2017

Fiji: EU support for coffee industry

The European Union, through its increasing agricultural commodities trade (IACT) project, has assisted Bula Coffee with the acquisition of a mobile coffee processing machine, nursery structures and irrigation equipment worth $72,000. EU political, trade, press and information section's press and information officer Mohammed Nazeem Kasim said the EU was proud to support the coffee value chain in Fiji and confirmed that the new nurseries would provide coffee seedlings for farmers on both Vili Levu and Vanua Levu. In response to questions on the potential for the local coffee industry, Mr Kasim said the mobile wet coffee processor would provide tangible benefits to both Bula Coffee and to farmers on Vanua Levu. He said the EU believed Bula Coffee would be able to secure and expand its coffee beans supply, thereby helping the young company increase its coffee production and hopefully unlock new export markets. Farmers in remote areas will now be able to enter a promising new value chain by supplying coffee cherries, which previously were often left unharvested. With the right kind of support, the EU is positive that initially, Fiji might begin replacing coffee imports with locally grown coffee. It said in the future, there might be an opportunity to develop a niche coffee export industry. Mr Kasim said under the interim Economic Partnership Agreement between Fiji and the EU, coffee exports to the EU were duty-free. He said the IACT project was an EU-funded and Pacific Community (SPC) implemented project aimed at developing agricultural commodity trade in the Pacific.

Source: Fiji Times