Brief background

Ethiopia is the motherland of Coffee Arabica. It is endowed with a rich variety of coffee and its diverse origins. Ethiopian coffee is rich with original flavor and aroma because of the geographical factors (altitude, soil, temperature, rainfall, topography, and ecology), genotypic and cultural variety. Coffee has been growing in Ethiopia for thousands of years, mainly in the forests of southwestern highlands. The word coffee drives from Kafa, name of a place in the Southwestern Ethiopian highlands where coffee was first discovered. Legends report that, about 1,000 years ago, a goat herder Kaldi first discovered the potential of these beloved beans. The story goes on to say that Kaldi discovered coffee after he noticed that his goats became so energetic and did not sleep at night after eating berries from a certain tree. Kaldi reported his observations to an abbot of a local monastery. The abbot made a drink with the berries and found that it kept him alert through the long hours of evening prayer. The abbot shared his experiences with the other monks. With the expansion of similar experiences, the knowledge of the energizing berries began to spread. As word moved east and coffee reached the Arabian Peninsula, it began a journey which would bring these beans across the globe. Indeed, coffee for the Ethiopian people is not an ordinal crop; rather, it is a cultural crop whereby drinking brewed coffee is deep-rooted and widespread and known almost among all social groups. It is a social drink shared with neighbors as a sign of respect and friendship

Ethiopia is endowed with an ideal production environment for growing coffee with a combination of appropriate altitude, temperature, rainfall, soil type and its PH value. Ethiopia, being the epicenter of the origin for Coffee Arabica, possesses a diverse genetic base (Harar, Jimma, Lekemti, Sidama and Yirgacheffe), produces a range of distinctive Arabica coffees and has considerable potential to sell a large number of selections of specialty coffee. Currently, Ethiopia is a leading Arabica coffee producer in Africa, ranking the fifth largest Arabica coffee producer and tenth in coffee export worldwide. However, the average green coffee bean yield per hectare per year is 0.7 t ha−1 which is by far lower than the world average and the average of Brazil 0.8 and 1.3 t ha−1, respectively. In order to avoid production gap and increase total production, the Ethiopian government encouraging the involvement of private investment in the coffee industry to expand large-scale commercial plantations and improved quality and productivity. The need for the expansion of coffee production and productivity is based on the availability of millions of hectares of highland plateau suitable for coffee production.