Knowledge for a sustainable world

NRI has prepared a report on the workshop it organized on 24 May 2006 during the 95th Session of the International Coffee Council. The Workshop, hosted by the International Coffee Organization (ICO) in London and funded by the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), addressed "The Potential for Diversification in Coffee Exporting Countries." The Workshop was part of the second phase of the ICO/CFC international project "Worldwide Comparative Analysis of Coffee-Growing Areas" for which NRI is the project executing agency. This phase of the project aims to identify the conditions for successful diversification, and to produce a tool (DECCA - Diversification of Enterprises in Coffee Countries and Areas) that can be used by policy makers to enable the design and implementation of operationally feasible programmes that: accelerate the process of diversification; remove constraints; and significantly improve the livelihoods of poor people.

The Workshop was attended by representatives of ICO, CFC, UNCTAD and the Coffee Board of India, together with many representatives of coffee producing and consuming countries, including NGOs and private sector organizations. Presentations were made by NRI economists (Dr Peter Greenhalgh, Dr Anne Talontire, Mr Ulrich Kleih, Dr Junior Davis), the CFC project manager (Mr Caleb Dengu) and project partners from India (Dr Y Raghuramulu), Malawi (Mr France Gondwe), Uganda (Mr Apollo Kamugisha) and Zimbabwe (Mr Julius Mathende). After hearing an overview of the ICO/CFC project and a summary of its main findings and recommendations, projects partners gace summaries of the seven country case-studies from Honduras, India, Malawi, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The general discussion touched on many aspects of diversification, including: intercropping, especially in relation to shade coffee production; alternative cropping (such as reforestation) in areas where coffee production is only economically viable when world coffee prices are high; the drivers of diversification in subsistence systems where coffee farmers have little interaction with markets; and global issues such as the growth in world demand for coffee, the diversity of coffee producers, and international negotiations on carbon credit issues relating to coffee production.

An overview of the Workshop was presented to the International Coffee Council by Dr Peter Greenhalgh on the following day, and NRI's written report of the Workshop will be included in the Council's main report of its 95th Session meeting. The final report of the ICO/CFC diversification project will be available shortly on the NRI website. Key proposals from the Workshop and subsequent feedback have been incorporated into its recommendations and its final chapter on "The Way Forward".

For more information about the project and the Workshop, contact the Adrienne Martin.