Review Article

Coffee: The Backbone of Ethiopian Economy

Rajesh Chauhan,  M. S. Hooda and Agena Anjulo Tanga

  • Page No:  018 - 022
  • Published online: 28 Feb 2015

  • Abstract

More than 1,000 years ago, a goatherd in Ethiopian south-western highlands plucked a few red berries from some young green trees growing there in the forest and tasted them. He liked the flavour and the feel-good effect that followed. Today those self-same berries, dried, roasted and ground, have become the world’s second most popular non-alcoholic beverage after tea. Ethiopian province where it first blossomed “Kaffa” gave its name to coffee. Coffee is the number one foreign exchange earning export commodity of Ethiopia. Almost 2% of the world’s coffee comes from Ethiopia. Well over 60% of the country’s foreign exchange is obtained through the export of coffee. About half of the coffee produced in Ethiopia, is exported to Europe, ¼th to Asia and the rest to North America.  It also contributes about 100% of government revenue. it is estimated that area under coffee trees are 679, 147 ha. The annual coffee production of the country ranges from 200-250 thousand tons. A quarter of the population is directly or indirectly engaged in the production, processing and marketing of coffee.  Almost 95% of the total production is covered by 2 million small holders and the remaining share of the output goes to the state owned enterprise i.e. Coffee Plantation Development Enterprise About half of the coffee produced is for domestic consumption. There are four main coffee production systems in Ethiopia: forest coffees, garden coffees, traditional small coffee farms and large scale modern plantations. About 35% of the total production is consumed within the producing areas. Coffee ceremony is a strong cultural tradition throughout Ethiopia. Important events are opened with a coffee ceremony. As well, people traditionally gather together over coffee to just enjoy conversation on a regular basis.

Keywords :   Ethiopia, Coffee, Economy, Coffea arabica, production, export


Chauhan R, Hooda &MS, Tanga AA. Coffee: The Backbone of Ethiopian Economy IJEP [Internet]. 28Feb.2015[cited 8Feb.2022];2(1):018-022. Available from:

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