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From bean to cup: Italy supports the relaunch of coffee in Kenya

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This morning, at the Residence of the Italian Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Roberto Natali, a high-level event was held to share results and good practices achieved within the “Arabika: Relaunching gourmet coffee production in Kenya” initiative. The project is financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and implemented by the Civil Society Organization CEFA, in collaboration with AVSI and the E4Impact Foundation. The event, opened by the Ambassador, counted on the presence of George Macgoye, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Vice President of Kenya, of the representatives of the governments of the counties where the initiative takes place, of the twenty-one coffee cooperatives supported and of all partners.

The project is in its third year of implementation and intervenes along the entire coffee value chain, the main objectives being the improvement of income and resilience of small rural producers and the inclusion of women and young people in the job market. The initiative intervenes to improve access to markets, both locally and globally, ensuring sustainable production and a greater economic return for small-scale coffee producers. Arabika, the result of a dialogue between the Italian and the Kenyan governments started in 2018, is in line with the coffee value chain development strategies of the central and the local governments of Kenya.

The initiative is worth an investment of 3 million Euros and is realized in seven counties, involving 21 cooperatives bringing together more than 40,000 small-scale coffee farmers. Among the main results achieved it is worth highlighting the renovation of seven laboratories for coffee tasting though infrastructural interventions and with the provision of innovative machinery and equipment, the training of hundreds of trainers, farmers and managers of cooperatives, and the identification of seven new Kenyan coffee brands that will be officially registered by the end of the year.

Ambassador Natali declared: “This initiative brings Italian excellence in the coffee sector to Kenya. The results presented today show how the spirit of cooperation and shared growth between our two countries is a driving force for development for rural communities, in the name of the added value ensured by Italian best practices”.

‘We are really grateful for this Arabika project: we have seen today how the capacity has been built, and it has been built in the right places. We recognize that’ said H. E. George Macgoye, Chief of Staff from the Office of the Deputy President.

Giovanni Grandi, Head of Office of the Nairobi Regional Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, added: “The activities of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in the country aim to create new growth opportunities for ensure a more sustainable future. The Arabika initiative goes precisely in this direction, strengthening a key value chain for the Kenyan economy which generates income for over 5 million people, leveraging the Italian expertise made available by our local partners”.