Stakeholders in the coffee industry have pointed out that with the right initiatives, Nigeria could position itself as a key player in the global coffee trade. Stakeholders, at the West Africa Specialty Coffee Association (WASCA) 2023 World Coffee and Tea Expo in Lagos, stated that there is need to pay more attention to the non-oil sector of the economy, especially coffee.
The President of WASCA, Segun Lary-Lean, while speaking, stressed the need to unlock the potentials of the Nigerian coffee sector. He said that Nigeria’s coffee exports remain modest, with an annual output of under one million bags. “The type of coffee we produce in Nigeria is what the rest of the world is looking for. We should be doing US$2 billion annually. It should be more than that, but I don’t just want to overestimate”. He also stressed the need for strategic investments, modernised farming practices and value-added processing to harness the full economic benefits of the coffee industry. Lary-Lean pointed out that in many countries, mostly the Western countries, “coffee is like water, so you can imagine if you are talking about the demand for coffee, you are talking about the water demand.
Some companies and brands generate between US$20 billion to US$30 billion from coffee. If you check out the American and Indonesian brands, they are doing so much on coffee. The demand is always there. He added that the United States imports coffee from Africa, that the demand is always there. “Uganda is making a lot from coffee, Kenya too is making a lot from coffee, Nigeria can also do the same”, he said. The Chairman of the National Coffee and Tea Association of Nigeria, Oyo State chapter, Salihu Imam, said that coffee is the second most traded/valuable of all commodities and first in agricultural commodities in the world, that tea is also a sought-after crop in the world. He said Oyo State was poised to go into massive production of coffee from the next planting season that it plans to plant about two million seedlings in the next two to three seasons. Speaking further he advised the federal government to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to ensure commercial banks give out soft loans of not more than two per cent annual interest to farmers to boost agricultural commodities production.