Colombia’s coffee production could more than double in eight years if the Andean nation were able to successfully tap consumer markets in Russia and China, said the head of the national federation of coffee growers, according to Reuters.
The Latin American nation, and world’s biggest producer of high-quality arabica beans, hopes to produce 18 million 132lb sacks of coffee by 2020, overcoming severe rains, fungus and pests, and a land renovation program which has led output levels to fall dramatically in recent months.
“The key is Russia and China,” said Luis Genero Muñoz, president of Fedecafe. “The day that every Chinese person drinks one cup of coffee a month, we would have no trouble selling 18, or even 20 million sacks,” he added.
This optimism comes despite a dismal assessment for production in 2012 from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fedecafe, which said May 22 that 2012 is “one of the worst years” for coffee production. This analysis follows a 36-year low of 7.8 million sacks of coffee produced in 2011.
Muñoz expects Colombian coffee production to increase over the next two years, reaching 8 million sacks in 2012 and 9 million sacks in 2013.
Colombia is now the fifth largest coffee-producing nation in the world, after Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia and Ethiopia.