Ethiopia is widely recognized as the birthplace of Arabica coffee, but has one of the lowest levels of coffee productivity in the world.
The quality of Ethiopian coffee isn’t the problem. About 95% of production from the country’s diverse coffee varieties is organic, traditionally cultivated without the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
Demand isn’t the issue either. Global coffee consumption has grown considerably since the 1990s. And in recent years, some of Ethiopia’s high-quality coffees have been selling for over three times the average export price.
So why is Ethiopia’s coffee productivity lagging behind other leading coffee-producing countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Vietnam?
The low productivity of Ethiopia’s coffee trees poses an obvious problem for the more than 2 million smallholder farmers dependent on coffee production for their livelihoods. This issue has also created a problem for Ethiopia’s forests. The expansion of coffee plantations driven by low productivity is degrading forest land and increasing emissions from the forest sector.
In order to overcome this issue, Kerchanshe and Buna Qela provides 5 million coffee seedlings for the farmers to ehnance farmers productivity.