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Ethiopia Coffee Exports to Rise 45 PercentThursday, February 11, 2016 > 10:07:09
(All Africa by John Sambo)
Addis Ababa — The Ethiopian government has announced intentions to raise coffee exports by 45% this year.This is to be done by offering incentives and increased government support to farmers.
Shimelis Arega, a Trade Ministry spokesman said in statement early this month, "Coffee exports will increase 45% to over 260,000 tons this year.
"Incentives will help achieve this goal, and they will include marketing linkage, loans for coffee exporters and processors, and the promotion of the Arabica coffee that the country exports at trade shows abroad," he said.
He said in 2014 Ethiopia earned $780 million from exports of 184,000 tons. However Ethiopia also has a strong domestic market.
According to World Bank figures in 2014 the coffee sector made up almost half of Ethiopia's gross domestic product, 84% of exports and 80% of total employment.
In recent years, USAID has also assisted the Ethiopian government and coffee cooperatives to improve the production, processing and marketing of Ethiopian coffee.
Working together with the government USAID has helped improve the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange's (ECX) ability to test and grade coffee beans before putting them on the open market.
In addition to improved quality, the program has mapped the country's coffee washing and hulling stations and installed the necessary technology to trace coffee purchased through the ECX.
Arega said: "The Ministry is training smallholder coffee farmers in improved harvesting, storage and preservation. These techniques add value to the coffee which then earns more in export sales."
He said Ethiopian coffee is popular abroad, taking up 18% of the German market, and 16% of the Saudi Arabian demand. Ethiopia has become a favourite destination for several major speciality coffee benders, especially from the United States.
Ethiopia is widely regarded as the birthplace of all things coffee.