Agriculture (Food & Tea)

Ethiopia is endowed with abundant agricultural resources and has diverse ecological zones. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. The Government of Ethiopia (GOE) has identified key priority intervention areas to increase productivity of smallholder farms and expand large-scale commercial farms. Particularly, the GOE under the new administration has given renewed emphasis to develop the agriculture sector and ensure food security. Among the top priorities identified by the GOE include: small and large-scale irrigations development, agricultural inputs supply financing, increasing productivity of crops and livestock, improving agricultural production methods using mechanization, post-harvest loss reduction, developing research-based food security system, and natural resources management.

  • Rain-fed agriculture (accounting for almost 50% of GDP) remains Ethiopia’s main source of employment and export earnings

  • Ethiopia is the origin of the coffee bean. With an annual production exceeding 380,000 T, the country is the largest coffee producer in Africa and the 5th largest in the world

  • Ten sugar cane factories are at the planning stage. Once they start their production, Ethiopia should develop into one of the ten biggest exporters of sugar cane in the world

Ethiopia is one of the leading export nations of coffee beans, with Ethiopian Arabica coffee beans being the most famous. Famous for the unique taste and acidity, Ethiopia exports its coffee beans to the world. Known brands like Starbucks, Tchibo, Caribou Coffee or China’s Luckin Coffee all use coffee beans cultivated in the biggest country in the Horn of Africa. In recent years, Ethiopian coffee even reached Chinese cafeterias and restaurants, in Guangzhou in particular. Ethiopia is also Africa’s second biggest maize producer. Most of these crops are exported to generate foreign exchange. In the future, the government intends to work with the private sector to develop capacity to process some of these commodities, like fruits and vegetables, in order to add value and capture higher export prices.