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August 20, 2014

Eco Coffee Project Begins in Ethiopia
JICA is helping producers of 'forest coffee' improve their livelihoods

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A JICA project to improve the livelihoods of coffee growers by helping them acquire forest coffee certification got underway in Ethiopia in July.

The Certified Forest Coffee Production and Promotion Project also aims to create a structure for the stable production of high-quality coffee in Ethiopia. It is the latest project in JICA's ongoing assistance aimed at developing Ethiopia's coffee industry.

Forest coffee, which represents 10 percent of Ethiopia's coffee, is grown in such a way as to cause minimal disturbance to the natural environment. So in addition to being rich in genetic resources and having a distinctive flavor that is quite rare, its product value in international markets is rising. That is because it uses a certification system that requires producers to adhere to certain environmental standards.

Coffee is Ethiopia's largest export, representing some 30 percent of overall agricultural produce exports. Ethiopia is the fifth largest coffee producer in the world and has the 10th highest coffee export volume (both as of 2012).

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