With one of the fastest growing non-oil economies in Africa, Ethiopia presents tremendous opportunities for inclusive growth. Agriculture accounts for 85 percent of total employment and more than 45 percent of the gross domestic product.

However, many smallholder farmers are not integrated into commercial markets due to a lack of coordination, information and access to markets. Since 2009, TechnoServe has been working to address these challenges, with a focus on supporting smallholder coffee farmers. As the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia has a climate and terrain well-suited for producing high-quality beans. TechnoServe is helping coffee farmers sustainably boost their incomes by improving quality, productivity and business practices.


As part of the Coffee Initiative, TechnoServe has helped establish 123 cooperative-owned wet mills, creating opportunities for 95,483 smallholder farmers to boost their incomes.


Ethiopian Farmers Find Value in High-Quality Coffee

A remote community benefits when a cooperative connects with international buyers and earns a premium price for its coffee.

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Brewing Good

Our Coffee Initiative is helping East African farmers to build better lives, one coffee bean at a time.

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On The Ground



Supporting Smallholder Coffee Farmers

Coffee contributes more than 30 percent of annual export earnings, and provides a livelihood for over one million households. Since 2009, TechnoServe helped establish 90 new farmer-owned wet mills across Ethiopia as part of the Coffee Initiative. These wet mills have given smallholder farmers a way to produce consistent, high-quality washed coffee and earn premiums averaging 50 percent above the price of unwashed coffee. In the program’s first year, a cooperative with a new wet mill located near the town of Jimma took top prize at the national Taste of Harvest event. In 2012, a TechnoServe-assisted cooperative in Agaro won the Africa Taste of Harvest competition. TechnoServe is continuing its work by providing agronomy training to over 50,000 coffee farmers in Ethiopia.



Promoting Sustainable Water Management

Hundreds of millions of liters of effluent are discharged into the rivers of Ethiopia’s Sidamo region during coffee processing without adequate waste water management. This polluted water then becomes source water for communities and wet mills downstream. The problem has become so acute that legislation was passed to prevent new wet mill construction within five kilometers existing wet mills. TechnoServe is currently working with 10 Sidamo wet mills to implement appropriate water purification solutions, from constructing shallow evaporation lagoons to installing grass-based wetland treatment systems. TechnoServe will support an additional 20 wet mills implement sustainable water management practices over the next two years.


Mother Parkers



Supporting Farmer Cooperatives

As part of the Maize Alliance in Ethiopia, TechnoServe is supporting nine farmer-owned cooperative unions, which are umbrella organizations for primary cooperatives, to improve their access to markets. Through training and coaching, TechnoServe strengthens the cooperatives’ business and financial management skills as well as implementation capacity, with the immediate objective of delivering on contract agreements to the World Food Programme’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative.



Blog Posts

March 2, 2015

Linking Farmers to Markets

A new report from the World Food Programme highlights a partnership with TechnoServe that has helped thousands of small-scale maize farmers in Ethiopia improve their livelihoods.

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October 22, 2014

Video: Sharing What Works

The Clinton Global Initiative features the efforts of Partners in Food Solutions and TechnoServe to improve food security in sub-Saharan Africa – benefiting both business and society.

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August 27, 2014

Scaling Up Coffee Sustainability in East Africa

TechnoServe and Nespresso are expanding their partnership to support coffee farming families in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

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TechnoServe Ethiopia

P.O. Box 100598
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tel: +251 1 663 0017
Fax: +251 1 663 0018

Mefthe Tadesse

Country Director



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