THE Coffee Growers Association of Zambia says coffee has a huge potential to contribute to the nation’s economy.
Association vice chairperson Teija Lubrinkholf says the crop is an export-based crop which has great revenue potential.
She said the international market for the crop was available and the country needed to do more in order to boost the production.
She said Zambian coffee industry however was not as vibrant as it was supposed to be.
She attributed this to lack of incentives such as financial services which would help boost output.
“There is need for a financial infrastructure such as long term low interest rates,” she said.
Ms Lubrinkorf also said there were few local farmers engaged in the cultivation of the crop.
“Unlike for countries such as Kenya and Tanzania which have involved small holder famers in the cultivation of the crop, there are few farmers here in Zambia,” she said.
She attributed the fewer numbers to the kind of agriculture system which preferred short term crops and not long term ones like coffee which take long to mature.
The association also called for Government support and deliberate programmes if the crop was to be significant as a foreign cash earner.
The association vice-chairperson called on Government to engage small holder farmers in the cultivation of the crop and provide financial incentives such as short and long term loans with low interest rates.
She said the coffee industry required huge capital investments to thrive, including the right incentives which could make the crop contribute greatly to Zambia’s economy.