Ethiopia’s coffee export increased for the last 10 months earning 1 billion USD for the country

Ethiopia’s coffee export increased for the last 10 months earning 1 billion USD for the country

May 10 - 2024

Coffee Geography Magazine

The Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority, the government regulatory body that oversees the coffee production and export announces that it manages the export of 209,000 tons of coffee for the international market. 

The country has transformed the way coffee trade is handled by setting an open market system where buyers have more options in the buying process. This includes the access for foreign buyers to resource their favorite beans directly at the farm for better quality assurances and logistic controls. 

 Adugna Debela, head of the agency said “I am very much privileged to share that our coffee sale to the international market has been seen a substantial increase. Over the past ten months, we exported a total of 209,000 tons of coffee, generating one billion USD. This surge in export is attributed to a new market option that has eliminated unnecessary steps in the supply chain. Compared to the previous year, the volume has increased by 29,000 tons.”

Adugna debela

Dr. Adugna Debela, Executive Director for Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority

ethiopia map2

Coffee production in Ethiopia has a long historical background where ancient Ottomans and Yemeni traders introduce the bean from Kaffa region where the name itself becomes synonymous across the Arabia and later to venice, Italy where the drink becomes more globalized and popular in today’s form. 

The country accounts for around 17% of the global coffee market as it is important to the economy, around 30-35% of foreign income comes from this commodity, with an estimated 15 million of the population relying on some aspect of coffee production for their livelihood.

Coffee beans that are grown in either the Harar, Yirgacheffe, Limu, Jimma or Kaffa regions are kept apart and marketed under their regional name. These regional varieties are trademarked names with the rights owned by the country. 

Previously, Ethiopia's altitude, temperature, and soil were suited very well for coffee production. Now, Ethiopia faces constraints pertaining to climate change. The mean annual temperature of Ethiopia has increased rapidly; it is projected to increase by 1.1-3.1 degrees Celsius by 2060. Temperature increases are directly correlated with invasive pests and disease development, both of which can cause production lost when disregarded. Also increasing is the uncertainty of yearly weather patterns. The growing length of the dry season decreases the amount of rainfall in Ethiopian forests where coffee is grown. In addition, dramatic forest loss in Ethiopia threatens coffee cultivation by eliminating factors needed, such as forest cover needed to reduce air and soil temperatures. 

These climate-related abiotic factors have the potential to decrease coffee yield by 70%. To build resilience, relocation of coffee farms into more suitable areas, likely at higher elevation, may be required to sustain Ethiopian coffee production and the Ethiopian economy. Further, farming adaptations could ensure resilience and improve productivity. These adaptions include irrigation to maintain soil water, tree shade management to protect forest cover, mulching to better soil fertility, terracing to improve soil quality and reduce water run-off, and pruning to maximize crop potential.