Due to ongoing conflict in the 1990s and 2000s, coffee, which was once the second biggest export in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, suffered a drastic blow to its market. Donor funding in recent years however has contributed to rebuilding the coffee industry and making it attractive to global buyers such as Starbucks. While the industry in the DRC had previously been identified with exploitation, they now seek to be defined by fair practices and a high quality product. The Congo is now looked to as being one of the most promising producers of both specialty coffee and commercial-grade coffee in the world.
The Ghanaian coffee industry has also suffered setbacks, theirs due to the falling prices of coffee in the 1980s. This led many farmers to abandon coffee and instead work with cocoa and other cash crops. However, noticing the growing interest in the product overseas as well as domestically, the government has been working since 2011 to bring back their once booming coffee industry. Ghana now has nearly 6,000 acres of new and revitalized coffee plantations, and farmers are being drawn back to the crop thanks to fair economic practices.
To learn more about the specialty coffee industry in the DRC, click here. To learn more about Ghana’s reemergence, click here.
Photo credit: Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi for The New York Times