Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on the East African Coffee Sector Updated
Since April 2020, International Trade Centre through MARKUP has been closely monitoring the impact of the pandemic on the East African Community’s coffee sector. ITC conducted an impact assessment through a business survey to help understand the consequences of the global pandemic on the coffee sector and possible future scenarios for the region. The results of the survey indicated that the pandemic could slow down demand for East African coffee, particularly as the EU and USA- major export markets of the EAC- took a severe hit.
On 11 February 2021, ITC organised another webinar on The Coffee Sector in the COVID-19 Context: Impacts and Recovery Actions to present an updated outlook of the impacts of COVID on the sector. The updated study featured the data collected through a follow up rapid business survey running from September - November 2020, which captured the impact of the crisis during the first six months of the pandemic. These webinars are part of MARKUP’s work on enhancing and strengthening the capacity of business membership organisations (BMOs) in the coffee sector to advocate for the removal of trade barriers which hamper the participation of SMEs in regional and global value chains.
The latest findings showed that although all businesses were affected by the pandemic, most had started to see an upturn and were optimistic about their future prospects. Notably, the impact on demand was not as severe has had been anticipated and exports continued. Nonetheless, productivity did decrease over the past year, and there were disruptions in business operations mainly linked to access to inputs and labour, as well as logistical challenges for domestic and international transport. SMEs renewed their request for support measures to mitigate these challenges, such as low interest credit lines, credit guarantee schemes and temporary tax waivers.
Download the updated Assessment of the Potential Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the EAC Coffee Sector