Nigeria has finalized its membership in the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and its International Coffee Agreement (ICA). This nomination makes Nigeria one of the 43 coffee producing countries of the ICO. Together, these countries account for over 97% of global coffee production.
A delegation from Nigeria recently completed the membership ratification process at the ICO Headquarters in London, England. The two sides said they hoped the move would lead to the sharing of best practices in coffee production, trade and market development, to help boost Nigeria’s coffee sector and improve coffee production in Africa. worldwide.
Native and transplanted commercial coffee species have been cultivated in Nigeria since the 19th century, and coffee has remained an important cash crop for the country despite its primary dependence on petroleum exports.
A recent review of coffee production in Nigeria – most often in the form of Robusta grown by smallholder farmers – concluded that low international coffee prices combined with poor agricultural management have led to a dramatic decline in production. overall production and exports over the past decade. .
As a member of the ICO, Nigeria will also be involved in the upcoming restructuring of the International Coffee Agreement of 2007 (ICA), the international agreement overseen by the ICO and its members designed to support coffee growers. coffee and strengthen the global coffee sector.
Members of the ICO / ICA have seen significant upheavals in recent years, including the departure of the world’s largest producing country, the United States, as ordered by the Office of the Secretary of State under the Trump administration, and the departure of the second largest coffee-producing country in Central America, Guatemala, in 2020.
After Brexit, the UK officially joined the ICO at the start of this year.
Last month, local and national reports from Uganda indicated that the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) had started the formal process of exiting the ICA, without giving a reason. At a national coffee event earlier this month, Uganda Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze said the country was not leaving the ICO yet, but was simply trying to renegotiate the 2007 ICA to be more favorable to the interests of Uganda as Africa’s second largest coffee exporter.