First Ethiopian coffee conference opens in Addis

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Addis Ababa, November 9, 2012 (WIC) - The first International Conference on Ethiopian Coffee aimed at enhancing the position of Ethiopian coffee in the international market through exchange of information and sharing of best practices opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association (ECEA) in collaboration with Ministry of Trade, USAID and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia organized the two-day conference under the theme: Strengthening the Legacy of Our Coffee.

The conference is expected to address key opportunities and challenges facing the coffee sector and promote the uniqueness of Ethiopian coffee.

Addressing the conference, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said coffee is livelihood for more than 15 million people who directly and indirectly involve in the sector.

Despite being the origin of coffee and one of the best conducive climates for its growth, Ethiopia’s share in the international market remained low for decades accounting to less than three percent, he said.

The country’s coffee production has been increasing over the past nine years, the Premier said, adding, in 2010/11 Ethiopia exported 200,000 tons of coffee and generated 842 million US dollars.

According to ERTA, participants drawn from Association, ministries of Trade and Agriculture, Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, Ethiopian Commodity Exchange Authority, local financial institutions and international coffee buyers are attending the conference.