Nespresso and TechnoServe, a development non-profit organisation, have entered into a partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to bolster efforts to rebuild the coffee industry in South Sudan, and to improve the livelihood of coffee farmers.

USAID will invest $3.18m over three years in the project, which has helped revive the country’s coffee industry, diversify its export market and improve household incomes of smallholder coffee farmers.

Nespresso and TechnoServe have worked directly with local farmers since 2011 to revive quality coffee production in South Sudan, while developing commercial channels to allow its sale and export.

“The country’s coffee industry was devastated after years of civil war, and oil now comprises 99% of its exports.”

Nespresso has already invested over $2.5m in the project.

The country’s coffee industry was devastated after years of civil war, and oil now comprises 99% of its exports.

Over 700 farmers have been integrated into the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Programme, which offers support, training and technical assistance to improve sustainability and productivity, while maintaining the highest quality coffee.

South Sudan’s first wet mills have been established, and the first coffee export was sold as a Nespresso Limited Edition in France last year.

Nestlé Nespresso CEO Jean-Marc Duvoisin said: "This new partnership with USAID will be instrumental to accelerate the progress Nespresso and TechnoServe have already made, working directly with South Sudanese farmers.

"This funding injection will allow us to scale up the project and help an even greater number of farmers grow and sell high quality coffee for international export at a higher price, thus creating a better quality of life for farmers and their families."

USAID Africa assistant administrator Linda Etim said: "In a severely conflict-affected country like South Sudan, it’s important that we invest in people to help improve livelihoods, reduce extreme poverty and give people hope about the future.

"By helping expand the success that Nespresso and TechnoServe have already achieved in improving the livelihoods of South Sudan’s coffee farmers, USAID is planting seeds of hope at a very fragile and uncertain time for the people of South Sudan.

"We’re encouraged to see a company like Nespresso investing in long-term growth in South Sudan and look forward to working together to expand economic growth and opportunity in the country."

The initiative aims to triple coffee incomes and improve household resilience. By 2019, the programme intends to have trained 1,500 South Sudanese farmers, of whom at least 25% will be women, and helped establish nine cooperative-owned wet mills.