Zimbabwean commercial coffee farming sector collapses

The Zimbabwe Coffee Mill (ZCM) says the country’s formerly vibrant commercial coffee farming sector has all but collapsed.

ZCM director Johane Jori told local media that production has slumped by nearly 3 000% over the past 28 years due to production disturbances arising from the land reform programme and lack of investment.

Jori said Zimbabwe produced just 500 tons of coffee in 2017, down from record highs of as much as 15 000 tons in 1989.

Post-land reform Zimbabwe has only 2 commercial coffee farmers, down from over 2 000 export-oriented producers before the launch of the land reform programme in February 2000.

According to the ZCM, the 2 commercial farmers are working on 300 hectares, and are complemented by 400 smallholder farmers working on a combined 77 hectares.

The remaining producers are battling challenges that include drought, pest,s a lack of investment, and a lack of farmer knowledge about growing the crop. Zimbabwe no longer exports coffee.

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