12 June 2018

Ethiopia Aspires to Boost Coffee Production

According to the information found from the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority the country has produced a total of 449,000 tons of coffee in the last nine months. Out of this total production, the country has exported 159,652 tons of coffee and generated 560 million USD.

Though the country has huge potential of growing flavorsome coffee, it has not benefited more from the sector. And the country is undertaking massive coffee production and productivity improvement efforts throughout the whole coffee growing destinations. As it has potential for coffee production with 6.19 quintals per hectare productivity, the nation has set a goal of increasing coffee export to support its economic development.

In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Authority Director General Sani Redi said that the country is aspiring to become the world's second coffee exporting nation next to Brazil in the near future. Modernizing_coffee value chain, employing IT assisted export control system and improving Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) capacity and encouraging farmers who are producing coffee to utilize modern technologies are fundamental tasks being carried out to realize the target, according to him.

"Having 5.47 million hectare of land favorable for coffee plantation, Ethiopia has coffee plantation cultivated only on one million hectare of land; this retards the country from benefiting more from the sector due to various bottlenecks. The authority is expecting_over 700,000 tons of coffee production this year._Increased attention has been given to the_promotion of_separate_brands of_Ethiopian coffee," he noted.

Accordingly, the volume of export planned for the year would make the country the second largest coffee exporting country through acquiring more income. According to the Central Statistical Authority, over 5.3 million Ethiopian farmers cultivate coffee, tea and spices throughout the country. In order to generate more from the sector various measures are being undertaken to boost coffee production in the country._Among these, working closely with pertinent stakeholders and coffee growing farmers to meet the country's goals in the sector through improved technologies of coffee seedlings are the core activities. In addition to these, with a view to implementing coffee seedlings improvement, the authority has been working on supplying the required inputs and carrying out wide public mobilization and awareness creation training.

"Coffee circumcision, latest coffee plantation mechanisms and proper fertilizer utilizations are essential activities to regenerate the country's capacity of coffee production," he emphasized.

This year over one million coffee seedlings have been prepared to be planted in the coming rainy season. In addition to this, 27,198 coffee circumcisions and 11,323 coffee renewals were done so far aimed at improving the country's coffee plantations' production and productivity.

He indicated that lack of experienced coffee plantation experts in the area has been a big obstacle in unlocking the country's potentials in the sector. But, now the authority is working in collaboration with universities and agriculture colleges to advance the sector with competent manpower specialized with coffee, tea and spices.

The EU is the leading Ethiopian market accounting for 60 percent of coffee export while Germany, Saudi Arabia, USA, Japan and Belgium are among the major destinations. In the effort to improve Ethiopian coffee farmers' productivity, the EU Coffee Action ET/FED/038-977 Project that would be active for two years signed to fund fifteen million Euros for the farmers which is a plus to promote the country's coffee earning.

Generally, the country earns 571 million USD exporting 167,478 million tons of coffee, tea and spices.

In order to be competitive in the world coffee market; the country is working strenuously on coffee quality inspection and certification, quarantine inspection and issuance of standards certification for local exporters through undertaking successive supervisions, the director recalled.

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