YAOUNDE, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Festicoffee, Cameroon's coffee festival in its seventh edition, kicked off Tuesday in the capital of Yaounde amidst dwindling local production.
"For many years production has been declining. We are asking Cameroonians to valorize and consume local coffee which is very delicious and natural," according to Yves Abissi, communication officer of National Coffee and Cocoa Interprofessional Council that is organising the festival in partnership with Cameroon's Ministry of Trade.
According to the council, local production stands at 25,000 tonnes annually, far from the 120,000 target and a drop from 100,000 tonnes in 2010. Officials stressed that transformation of coffee production was necessary to boost production.
"It is important to produce and to process in order to be able to consume and sell. We have the potential, means and well. Cameroon is the future of coffee. We need to produce more," Cameroon's Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana told reporters.
Exporters from other African countries and Europe are taking part in the two-day event that seeks to bolster the interest of Cameroonians in coffee through the exhibition and consumption of local coffee.
On this first day of the festival, locals and tourists were treated to a rich blend of coffee roasts and a lingering aroma of Cameroon coffee.