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Student Research Projects

Lauren Rosenberg

Lauren RosenbergPhD Topic:

Short(er) supply chains and subjective well-being: Connecting coffee drinkers and coffee farmers in Kayanza, Burundi


Prof Mark Swilling, Programme Co-ordinator: Sustainable Development; School of Public Leadership; Faculty of Economic & Management Sciences, Stellenbosch


Coffee is the second-largest global commodity export after oil, estimated to be consumed regularly by more than 40% of the world’s population. Small-scale farming households grow the majority of coffee, which is grown almost exclusively in the coffee belt, the geo-climatic region between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, an area consisting largely of Global South nations. Typically, coffee exports are arranged into long supply (value) chains with very low levels of value addition available to producers at the beginning of the value chain. This is changing rapidly, however, as more direct tradevalue chains are being configured because of the increased demand for better-quality coffee (speciality coffee) and the improved sustainability of the social and environmental aspects of production. In Burundi, coffee production accounts for over 70% of total export revenue. As one of the poorest nations in the world, Burundi is profoundly shaped by post-war recovery efforts in a macro-economic landscape of virtually no industrialisation and coffee production is thus an indispensable component of development.
The aims of this research wrap themselves around two thematic poles of exploration: Is it possible to shorten the coffee supply chain in Burundi? And what is the relationship between these processes and the subjective well-being of producers at household level? 

Disciplinary history:

BA English, Film & Media Production (Radio Specialisation), UCT (2007)
BA Hons in African Studies, UCT (2008); MPhil Sustainable Development, SU (2013)

Faculty/department of registration:

Faculty of Economics & Management Sciences; School of
Public Leadership, SU (2013)
transdiciplinary, sustainability, analysis, modelling & assessment HUB.


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