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Posted on Friday, 07 November 2014 13:53

Ethiopia targets $1bn coffee yield

By Tinishu Solomon

Photo©ReutersEthiopian President Mulatu Teshome says the country's coffee industry has to increase exports to reach a $1 billion annual revenue target.

Despite a steady increase in coffee production in recent years, Ethiopia's supply to the global market has not exceeded a target of 200,000 metric tonnes.

Speaking at the 3rd International Ethiopian Coffee Conference, Teshome said in 2013/2014 exports were lower than in 2010/11 where coffee exports reached 196,118 metric tonnes and the country earned close to $842 million.

Official statistics show that the amount of coffee exported in the 2013/14 Ethiopian fiscal year was 190,837 metric tonnes.

"We must now break this one time export income record by supplying more quality to the global market surpassing the near 200,000 metric tonnes registered so far and generating export income reaching $1 billion," he said.

The annual conference is focusing on how to promote and increase the quality of Ethiopian coffee.

Research shows that about 10 percent of Ethiopia's coffee production comes from the age old practice of gathering wild coffee beans in forests, while 35 percent comes from partially tended wild bushes, and 50 percent is produced in small plots as a secondary crop.

While the growth of Ethiopia's coffee industry in the past few years has largely been attributed to its modernisation, only five percent of the East African country's coffee is produced on plantations dedicated to coffee production.

Officials of United States say they are keen to support the cofee sector in Ethiopia.

"The U.S. is working to help identify new markets and private sector partners and investors, including from the U.S.," US deputy chief of mission, Peter Vrooman, said.

"Our dual purpose is to not only ensure the expansion of the coffee industry in Ethiopia but also the greatly improved livelihoods of a legion of small coffee growers whose entire families will benefit.

Ethiopia exports 24 Arabica coffee varieties to a limited number of foreign destinations. Seven countries, including Japan, Georgia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, USA, Belgium and France, alone buy over 70 percent of Ethiopia's coffee.



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