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Brewing prosperity in Africa

Cup of coffee

A good cup of coffee may seem like a simple pleasure. But the same beans that give many around the world a reason to wake up in the morning also are giving thousands of coffee farmers in Africa the chance to make a better livelihood—with some help from Michigan State.

In the nation of Burundi—known as the “Heart of Africa”—800,000 farmers make a living growing coffee, which accounts for 80 percent of the country’s exports. After decades of civil unrest, Burundi is rebuilding its coffee industry, focusing on premium coffee varieties that thrive in the nation’s high elevation. To help prepare Burundi to enter the global market for specialty coffee, MSU’s Dan Clay, director of global programs in sustainable agrifood systems, and his team developed a first-of-its-kind online resource for growers, buyers, and all partners throughout the supply chain.

The Burundi Coffee Data Base and Knowledge Network provides buyers and sellers with the most current information about coffee production, processing, and exporting, while improving access and maximizing efficiency. Visitors to the network’s website—caféduburundi.com—also can connect via Facebook and Twitter.

Working side by side with small farmers to build a stable and sustainable industry, Spartans are helping give new meaning to making “strong coffee”.

Learn more about the farmers of Burundi and the coffee they produce

Learn how MSU helped rebuild Rwanda’s specialty coffee industry.

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