Italy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) signed a financing agreement for a project entitled: 'Improving the Sustainability and Inclusiveness of the Ethiopian Coffee Value Chain through Private and Public Partnership.'
At the event, Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia Giuseppe Mistretta said: "Italy is investing important resources in the economic development of Ethiopia through the support of agricultural value chains and agro-industry. We see agricultural and industrial development as strongly related."
Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority Director General Sani Redi for his part noted that the Italian government support for the coffee sector is commendable. The Authority is ready to work closely with UNIDO to ensure the project's sustainability and effectiveness,he added.
UNIDO Representative and Ethiopia Regional Office Director Gustavo Aishemberg said the agreement could improve Ethiopian coffee supply chain value and enhance the inclusiveness and the integration of all actors in the sector.
Italian Agency for Development Cooperation Addis Ababa Office Head Ginevra Letizia underlined that the Office is ready to support the efforts of improving coffee value chain in Ethiopia.
"The coffee value chain is very important for this country. Coffee is a treasure of Ethiopia and it is a duty to improve the coffee production. The genetic variety is the most important in the world and the government strategy rightly stresses the importance of improving the traceability and the quality of the Ethiopian coffee", she added.
According to press release sent to The Ethiopian Herald , the project is in line with GTP II targeting to support smallholder farmers and cooperatives through the introduction of "Best Agronomical Practices" to increase yields, through technical skills transfer and the provision of practical tool boxes for an optimized post-harvest process, washing station infrastructures and cupping laboratories through the dissemination of modern marketing techniques.
Addis Ababa city administration and Oromia and SNNPs states would be the major project areas for the three years to come.
The project is financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation with a budget of 2.5 mln. Euro. UNIDO also a partner with Illy caffè and the Ernesto Illy Foundation, and in close synergy with Ethiopian pertinent institutions.