By Albert George Sheriff
The Secretary General of the Inter- Africa Coffee Organisation Ambassador Solomon Rutega and his Director of Research and Development Dr. Celestine Gataraiha have visited the sites where the Stenophylla Coffee are planted at Jihun and Levuma villages in Kenema district. The delegates were accompanied by the Executive Chairman Dr. James Vibbi and team and representatives from the Wealthunger Hilfe (WHH) including the former Consultant who wrote the Stenophylla Coffee Policy in Sierra Leone Daniel Sarmu.
According to the Director of Research and Development IACO Dr. Celestine Gataraiha, the Stenophylla Coffee transplanted by WHH are healthy and impressed with the work done by WHH and other stakeholders in the development of the Coffee. He registered IACO’s commitment in providing technical support to the development of the Stenophylla Coffee after a Memorandum of Understanding with PMB, SLARI and other stakeholders will have been signed.
According to the Executive Chairman Dr. James Vibbi, the role of PMB to the development of the Stenophylla Coffee is seeking assistance from different parts of the world and partner with SLARI to do further research on the Stenophylla Coffee for the following purposes to shortened the duration of maturation period and increase the yield and others like understanding the generic properties that can be shared with Small holders Farmers who can propagate the message.
WHH representative said the Stenophylla Coffee seedlings were collected in 2020 from the wild and has been nursed for over a year and half, now been out-planted for just two weeks ago. He said there will be inter-cropping on the site so that the farmers have alternative source of income whilst continuing with the farm management practices that is needed.
Mr. Daniel Sarmu was the Consultant who wrote the Coffee policy for Sierra Leone. He said the Stenophylla Coffee has a little bit low yield but has good quality, taste and very good aroma proven in the United Kingdom by the International Coffee Copper analysis. He said, that is the reason the Stenophylla Coffee should be cultivated in the country.
Mr. Sarmu said, for now the Stenophylla Coffee is under research but if scientific research is done it will be supplied to the farmers and huge quantity of the coffee will be given to the farmers to be out-planted which will boost the country’s economy and improve the livelihood of farmers. He added that, for now Sierra Leone is not in any competition with any country where we have niche market for this coffee, so it will be likely Sierra Leone will dictate the price of the Stenophylla Coffee.