Photo Preview: GKI Kicks Off the Africa Great Lakes Coffee Support Program

October 15, 2015

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), Michigan State University, the Global Knowledge Initiative, University of Rwanda, and Institute for Policy Analysis and Research kicked off a 3-year partnership on coffee productivity in Kigali on October 13, 2015.

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African Great Lakes Coffee (AGLC) support program partners work together to better understand how capacity building might support productivity. Photo Credit: Aniseh Bro

Organized as part of the Feed the Future initiative, the Africa Great Lakes Coffee Support program (AGLC) aims to create opportunities to increase the productivity of farmers in the Great Lakes Region and reduce the impact of the potato taste defect (PTD) – a defect that makes otherwise excellent coffee taste like potato.  The acting Head of Mission for USAID Rwanda and CEO of National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) opened the meeting, and GKI facilitated the 50 key stakeholders in attendance as they identified the most important bottlenecks to boosting productivity and reducing PTD.

Through its LINK program, GKI has worked on PTD in Rwandan coffee in partnership with the University of Rwanda and numerous international partners since 2011. In 2014, GKI partnered with the Rwanda Development Board, the Ministry of Agriculture, NAEB, and other partners to host a Coffee Research Symposium and Collaboration Colloquium in Kigali.  This event resulted in a Potato Taste Challenge Prize, currently being implemented by the Rwanda Agriculture Board, and helped lay the groundwork for the AGLC program.
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Using a Human Centered Design tool called Challenge Mapping, stakeholders work to unpack opportunities to create an enabling environment for solutions in the coffee value chain. Photo Credit: Aniseh Bro
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AGLC project partners present potential mechanisms for collaboration using international problem-solving networks. Photo Credit: GKI
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GKI Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Sara Farley leads a group through Challenge Mapping. Photo Credit: Aniseh Bro
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By clarifying the many interconnected pieces of their complex challenge, AGLC partners can identify steps that can be taken to boost productivity and reduce the effects of Potato Taste. Photo Credit: GKI
Contributors: Andrew Gerard and Katie Bowman