Ivory Coast targets coffee production of 400,000 T by 2020

ABIDJAN, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast aims to produce four times as much coffee as its current annual output of around 100,000 tonnes by 2020 under a new development plan, the agriculture minister said late on Monday.

“The government will dedicate 8 billion CFA francs ($15 million) to relaunch the coffee sector,” Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly said. “We hope coffee production in Ivory Coast can reach 400,000 tonnes in 2020.”

Coulibaly said Ivory Coast marketed around 100,000 tonnes of coffee this year.

Green robusta coffee output in the West African nation, which is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, peaked at 380,000 tonnes in 2000, statistics from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization show.

However, production has dipped below 100,000 tonnes in recent years after a decade of political turmoil which sparked a brief civil war in 2011.

Under reforms introduced in 2012, Ivory Coast abandoned more than a decade of sector liberalisation. The Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) now sells forward the bulk of the anticipated crop in order to fix a guaranteed price for farmers which was set at 620 CFA francs per kilogramme for the current season.

Coulibaly was speaking at a ceremony marking the signature of a partnership agreement with Nestle’s Ivorian unit aimed at improving coffee output.

Mauricio Alarcon, head of Nestle Cote d’Ivoire, said the company will have distributed more than 1.8 million coffee plants and trained more than 13,000 farmers by the end of this year.

“By 2022, Nestle has pledged to train 30,000 farmers in Ivory Coast on good agricultural practices. The goal is to distribute 27 million high-yield plants,” he said.

1 U.S. dollar = 526.2400 CFA franc Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Joe Bavier and Jason Neely