IWCA recently participated in the Coffee Farming Families Enterprise Engagement workshop held on February 11, 2014 in Bujumbura, Burundi, an initiative lead by African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) to include additional support partners such as, International Trade Centre (ITC), IWCA, Hivos, and 4C. Each organization presented their work with a special presentation from Tanzanian farmers involved in a gender-mainstreaming project by Hivos. The workshop brought together more than 50 participants from the public and private sectors to discuss ways to strengthen coffee farming as a family business with a focus on women and youth. IWCA chapter members from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, DRC, and Tanzania attended along with IWCA Vice President Phyllis Johnson.
The one-day workshop focused on the following four major areas of the program:
- Capacity Development Advancing knowledge, skills and attitude change
- Create Market Linkages
- Strengthen Chapters
- Develop a secretariat to activate resource mobilization, gather statistics, implement and achieve four-year strategy
The program has outlined specific goals and targets to achieve over the next four years with all partners engaged.
Under this program faming families will become more educated on good agricultural practices, having knowledge of inter-cropping and ensuring a more constant income to provide food security, more balanced gender roles, and youth will realize viable options while sharing their knowledge and skill in building a future in the family coffee business. Ultimately a resurgence of the African coffee industry will be realized.