Hivos and Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa.biz), the leading Africa focused business community for entrepreneurs and investors, are pleased to announce CESACOPA the winner of 2012 Incubator Award. CESACOPA is a coffee cooperative located in Amboim province, Angola. The main objective of the CESACOPA project is to increase coffee quality standards for export while at the same time making a clear contribution to the community e.g., employment generation and pollution abatement. The coffee is produced without use of chemicals or pesticides and the fertilizer used is organic. It is also noted that the project impacts some 6000 families as direct beneficiaries.
From the five shortlisted ventures, the audience clearly recognized the efforts of this cooperative and their efforts to revitalize one of Angola’s most promising cash crop. The prize money will be spent installing a small coffee laboratory needed to increase quality. The project promoter Anastácio Roque Gonçalves explained, ‘This project aims to obtain a coffee grader machine and installing a small coffee laboratory to help the export chain and create the proper environment for fair trade and coffee certification. This will reduce many logistic costs.’
World coffee demand is now just exceeding supply and prices have been increasing. Coffee is one of Angola’s largest agricultural products and the country was the third largest producer of coffee until 1973. The changes in the market creates a timely opportunity to revitalize one of the countries most productive sectors. Plantation and production of coffee contributed largely to the economy of Angola’s northwestern area, including the Uíge Province, during colonial times. Coffee production was started by the Portuguese in 1830s and soon became a cash crop with some 2000 odd plantations. Angola was one of the largest coffee producing countries in Africa in the 1970s. However, the civil war for independence from the Portuguese rule devastated the coffee plantations and many coffee agronomists migrated to Brazil. The plantations became wild bushes. Rehabilitation of the plantations started in 2000, but the investment required to replace the 40 year old unproductive plants are estimated to be US$ 230 million. With the opening up of new roads, new industrial and farming activity are starting to take shape.
This year’s 2012 Incubator Award was sponsored by Hivos, a leading Dutch organisation and Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A), a global platform connecting entrepreneurs and investors throughout Africa. With two leading organisations associated to this year’s award, the winner and nominees will receive increased international recognition and the opportunity to expand their global contacts. This prestigious award will be presided by a panel of international experts and the winner will receive a cash prize of US$15,000.