New Comprehensive Strategy Aims to Quadruple Ethiopia’s Coffee Revenue by 2033
The strategy presented by the Ethiopian Coffee & Tea Authority would also increase farmer incomes more than five-fold and create 2.7 million jobs
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – At a high-level event held today, the Ethiopian Coffee & Tea Authority (ECTA) released a new, comprehensive strategy for the country’s coffee sector. The strategy, developed in collaboration with the Ethiopian Institute of Agriculture Research (EIAR) and international nonprofit TechnoServe, identifies opportunities across the coffee value chain to substantially increase the country’s exports of high-quality, climate-friendly coffee, thereby improving incomes for farmers and creating jobs for millions of workers.
Coffee already represents a vital part of Ethiopia’s economy, generating up to 30% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings and supporting the livelihoods of more than a quarter of the population. However, the sector has significant potential to grow: Ethiopia is uniquely positioned to take advantage of increasing demand for high-quality, sustainable coffee, as the majority of its production is already organic.
The strategy–drafted in 2019 and presented publicly today by the ECTA following pandemic-related delays–aims to help develop a long-term, shared vision among the coffee sector’s key stakeholders. It rests on six key pillars:
- Production-enhancing extension services
- Sector strengthening
For each pillar, the strategy analyzes the current challenges that impede growth and offers recommended approaches to address them.
The strategy estimates that if these approaches are implemented, the country’s coffee exports could grow from US$780 million in 2019 to between US$3.6 billion and US$4.6 billion within 15 years. This would also increase farmer incomes from US$468 million to between US$2.7 billion and US$3.5 billion and generate employment for 2.7 million people. The supply of Ethiopian coffee on the global market could also grow significantly, from 470,000 MT in 2019 to almost 1.26 million MT in 2033.
The document also outlines steps to support the environmental and social sustainability of coffee production in Ethiopia. For example, it highlights ways in which coffee production can help to protect the country’s forests and the diverse wild coffee varieties that reside within the woodlands.
“Ethiopia has an enormous opportunity to help meet growing global demand for coffee and, in the process, deliver better, more resilient livelihoods for millions of families,” said Paul Stewart, TechnoServe’s global coffee director. “This strategy marks an important step in seizing that opportunity.”
“The coffee industry is the driving force of the economy, ecology, socio-cultural and spiritual life of our people,” wrote ECTA Director General Adugna Debela in the strategy’s foreword. “The objective of this long term comprehensive strategy is to maximize Ethiopia’s coffee export revenues and increase the incomes of the millions of smallholder farmers who contribute to over 85 percent of production.”
About the Ethiopian Coffee & Tea Authority
The Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority is an institution formed under the mandate given by the Ethiopian Council of Ministers in order to support, guide, protect and empower the development of the coffee, tea and spice industry. Its vision is to see a people free of poverty through the development of a modern coffee, tea and spices marketing industry.
Founded in 1968, TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty for good. A non-profit organization working in 30 countries, we work with people to build a better future through regenerative farms, businesses, and markets that increase incomes. Our vision is a sustainable world where all people in low-income communities have the opportunity to prosper.