USAID funds support
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced it will invest $3 million to accelerate a successful coffee development program in South Sudan.
The funds enhance the capability of non-profit TechnoServe and Nestlé-Nespresso to train coffee 1,500 workers and build new wet mills needed to process the country’s washed robusta for export.
The $3.18 million is in addition to $138 million in humanitarian assistance following three years of brutal fighting. It will be distributed over three years according to USAID assistant administrator for Africa Linda Etim.
“In a severely conflict-affected country like South Sudan, it’s important that we invest in people to help improve livelihoods, reduce extreme poverty, and give people hope about the future,” she said.
She said that Nespresso and TechnoServe have already achieved success in improving the livelihoods of South Sudan’s coffee farmers, “USAID is planting seeds of hope at a very fragile and uncertain time for the people of South Sudan. We’re encouraged to see a company like Nespresso investing in long-term growth in South Sudan.”
“This new partnership with USAID will be instrumental to accelerate the progress Nespresso and TechnoServe have already made, working directly with South Sudanese farmers,” said Nespresso c.e.o. Jean-Marc Duvoisin. “This funding injection will allow us to scale up the project and help an even greater number of farmers grow and sell high quality coffee for international export at a higher price, thus creating a better quality of life for farmers and their families.”
Coffee farmers are returning to their farms in the relatively peaceful Yei region southwest of Juba where warring parties have “terrorized and abused innocent civilians, especially women and girls,” according to USAID. Food security conditions are “at their worst since South Sudan gained independence in 2011. Forty percent of the population now faces life-threatening hunger.”
“The program has helped us recover the coffee trees we had lost during the war; and since we started maintaining our trees and delivering to the wet mills our lives have completely changed,” said South Sudanese coffee farmer Daniel Lomoro. “We can now afford to take our children to good schools and meet the basic needs of the family. This wouldn’t have been possible without that technical support. Nespresso and TechnoServe have strengthened us and taught us to be self-reliant.”
- Dan Bolton