Coffee Arabica listed under “threat of extinction”
The export of some 104,000 tons of coffee has generated USD 334 million. When added with the USD five million generated from spices exports and USD 1.6 million from tea; the total export value Ethiopia has bagged during the current half fiscal year stands at USD 340 million.
The six month report issued by the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority indicated that the export of coffee has kept going on a declining trend compared to last year’s similar period. The value has further gone down by USD 48 million this year. Last fiscal midyear, a volume of 107,300 tons of coffee has fetched USD 382 million. The export growth has weakened by 12 percent in value and by 4.2 percent in volume.
For the current fiscal year, the authority’s plan was to bag USD 475 million from the export of 132,000 tons of coffee in the first half of the year. However, as it was the case in the past, it landed short of its target securing only USD 334 million, showing a USD 141 million shortfalls. In both volume and value, the export performance of coffee achieved 78 and 70 percent of the targets set, respectively.
Similarly, the export performance of spices and tea has revealed a declining trend. The struggling spices export though is gradually picking-up, it has earmarked USD four million from the targeted USD 10 million values. The export of tea as well showed no different outcome. USD 1.6 million was received from the export of 984 tons of tea.
Tied with its stressed growth and lack of performance, the Ethiopian coffee sector is facing an additional blow from climate change. According to scientists at the UK-based Royal Botanical Gardens – Kew, 60 percent of the world’s Arabica Coffee is classified as being “under the threat of extinction due to deforestation, climate change and the spread and severity of fungal pathogens and pests. In addition to this, the wild Arabica is also facing similar fate. The scientists, in collaboration of Ethiopian scholars, found out that by 2088, at least 50 percent of the Arabica species face the possibility of extinction solely due to the impact of climate change. There are 124 Arabica species spread worldwide originating from Ethiopia.
It is not for the first time that Arabica Coffee, which mostly originates from Ethiopia, has been on the red alert. The research academy previously came out with findings which revealed that places like Harar will no longer be coffee growing areas as the atmospheric heat and temperature levels are rising.