Review on coffee (Coffea arabica) sector challenges in Ethiopia and strategies to mitigate them

Author(s): Shamil Alo Sora

Coffee is the most important agricultural commodity, worth an estimated retail value 70 billion USD, crucial for the economy of more than 70 countries and the main income resource for hundreds of millions people worldwide.Despite the largest share in production and economic contribution, the value of coffee exported from Africa, including Ethiopia has declined considerably over the years due to lack of sustainability and poor competitiveness of the sub-sector at the national and international market. In Ethiopia, coffee had been and still contributes to the Lion’s share in its national economy being the leading source of foreign exchange earnings. Despite its importance the coffee sector is being challenged by different factors. Among these factors:- low productivity due to lack of improved varieties , diseases and pests, improper processing method, lack of post-harvest handling such as storage facilities, climate change, land degradation, marketing. To mitigate these challenges efforts have been made to some extents. Strengthening the extension in distribution of improved and disease resistance varieties, proper processing methods, construction of storage facilities, developing and adapting varieties for climate change, reforestation and afforestation, discouraging illegal settlement and market regulation are some strategies to be implemented in order to mitigate them.