Ethiopia eyes exporting value added coffee to African countries


Ethiopia is revising and improving laws enabling it to export value added coffee to African countries.
A two-day consultative forum dubbed “Africa Coffee Consumption and Market”: held in Addis Ababa, attracted six country representatives. The goal is to promote coffee consumption in African countries.
“Ethiopia’s value added coffee export is less than two percent and almost all export goes outside Africa, said Adunga Debela, Director-General of Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority adding that Ethiopia should work on improving its coffee export law for Africa countries.
Ethiopians are among the largest coffee consumers in Africa in which 53 percent of produced coffee is consumed locally and growing.
“This is against the government’s attempt to lower domestic coffee consumption in order to have more coffee beans for export” Adugna said.
“The increasing trend in coffee consumption in African countries and opening opportunities to trade within African countries will benefit coffee growing farmers and stabilize coffee prices,” said Denis Sedieu, chief economist at the international coffee organization (ICO).
According to the director, the Authority is working to expand its market access to African countries by value addition of its coffee bean.
There are a multiple challenges to coffee production in Ethiopia: dependency on rain fed agriculture, production by small land holders which is 95 percent, the need for improved seeds, improper tree management, the lack of price incentives for coffee producers, and the inability to use an irrigation system are the indicated bottle necks both in boosting quality and quantity.
Another problem comes from people tearing out coffee bushes and replacing them with chat plants because they produce more revenue than coffee.
Stabilizing the price of coffee by working on value addition and finding new coffee export destinations what the authority hopes will improve things.
Ethiopia’s coffee forecast for the year 2019/20 remains at a record level of four million bags (240,000 metric tones.)
Ethiopia has more than 400 coffee exporters, 395 coffee farmers who directly export coffee, and over30 import-export companies who export coffee and import other materials like vehicles and construction materials.
Ethiopia export coffee over 60 countries and based on the coffee export data 2017/18, the principal export market for Ethiopian coffee were Germany, Saudi Arabia, United States, Belgium, Sudan and Italy and registered a record of 917 million USD that makes Coffee the most important export for the country accounting for about 34 percent of the value of all exports.
Today, Ethiopia is the fifth largest coffee producers next to Brazil, Colombia, and Indonesia harvesting approximately 280,000 metric tons of coffee annually.
According to the Director-General, Ethiopia is still a major producing country of high-value coffee and the government is targeting African countries as alternative coffee export destinations as the price in global market fluctuates.