He said coffee plants that had been rested during the 2010-11 season will become productive again and enhanced use of herbicides will reduce disease.
“If our coffee production dropped in 2010/11 we think it is mainly due to the ‘repos vegetatif’ (the plants were not cultivated for the season) and the outbreak of the coffee berry disease in the North-West region,” said Pierre Tsimi Enouga, executive secretary of the CCIB.
“But we foresee output picking up significantly in 2011/2012. For one thing, it is cyclical that after a year of rest the plants will start producing again the next year and the harvest is always very bountiful. Moreover, the government has taken steps to fight coffee berry disease,” he said.
He said he expected output to reach as high as 65,000 tonnes, including 55,000 tonnes of robusta and 10,000 tonnes of arabica. Production had slumped to less than 35,000 tonnes in 2010-11, with less than 32,000 tonnes of that robusta.
Coffee output in the central African oil producer state has been in steady decline since the mid 1980s, when it grew about 132,000 tonnes, but the government is aiming to revitalise the sector through subsidies and training. (Reporting by Tansa Musa; writing by Richard Valdmanis; editing by James Jukwey)