President Gustavo Petro meets President William Ruto while in Paris, France,for the Global Pact Finance Summit on June 22. Photo by Presidential Communication Service (PCS).

Kenya and Colombia forge partnership to boost coffee production and trade

By Zablon Oyugi

Kenya has announced that it will work with Colombia to borrow coffee production and value addition lessons from the South America nation.

This follows a sideline meeting between President William Ruto and Colombia’s President Colombia Gustavo Petro in Paris, France, during the Global Pact Finance Summit.

The two agreed to explore new areas of cooperation including trade and agriculture.

“Kenya will work with Colombia, one of the globe’s top coffee producers to draw lessons from its production and value addition so as to improve our exports. We believe this will boost earnings and support more livelihoods,” President Ruto.

Kenya is aiming at increasing coffee production from the current 40MT to 140MT annually while on the other hand, Colombia is currently one of the top five coffee producers globally, producing approximately 10 million bags each year.

Colombia coffee production has a long and rich history, dating back to the 18th century. Today, Colombia is the third-largest coffee producer in the world, after Brazil and Vietnam, and is famous for its high-quality Arabica beans.

This year, Kenya’s production is forecast to increase 6.7 per cent to 800,000 bags due to recovery from drought conditions and higher fertiliser application.

Memorandum of Understanding

In May, Kenya and Colombia signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help them boost trade and knowledge exchange in various sectors of the economy.

The MoUs were signed during a meeting between Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Colombian Vice President Franica Elena Marquez Mina.

Among the agreements signed were the establishment of a Joint Commission for Cooperation, and Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.

Further, they signed declarations to work together in training Spanish, promotion of culture, tourism, higher learning, trade and investment and mining.

To strengthen trade ties between the two nations, the two leaders committed to engaging the relevant national authorities on the establishment of direct flights.

The relations will further be strengthened through scholarships in specific areas of expertise.

Marquez said the two countries have gone through similar socioeconomic challenges, adding that opportunities for collaboration will benefit citizens toward sustainable development.

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