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GIZ launches award for Ethiopian coffee farmers

German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), has launched an award to recognize innovative ideas within the farmers of Ethiopia worth EUR 50,000.

Named the ‘Coffee Innovation Fund’, the plan is to encourage and support coffee farmers and become players within the global coffee sector now worth USD 200 billion a year. While Ethiopia continues to earn needed forex from coffee export, the nation earns exports about 221,000 tons of coffee, earning in the upwards of 800 million USD annually, a fraction of the world's coffee export. 

According to GIZ, “Coffee growers and local economies have been largely excluded from investments in innovation and development”. The same award is to be given out in three other nations, including in Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam, which the later has become one of the emerging global players on the coffee market. “The coffee innovation fund aims to encourage innovative ideas that will increase profitability of small-holder coffee farmers and foster fairer value distribution in the supply chain”.

In related news, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through its Green Innovation Centres project, and the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) funded by the European Union, in partnership with iceaddis, has also premiered a Green Innovation and Agritech Slam 2019, a nationwide agricultural business competition.

This competition commenced on August 7 and is to have five categories and among the top 10 finalists, the final winner will be chosen on November 14 at Hilton Addis and the total prize earned is valued at more than one million Birr.

At last year’s event, Magnus Schmid, the Program manager of the Green Innovation Center, he told The Reporter the importance of the initiative as a strategy to empower players in the industry.  “We are trying to support 300,000 small farmers with innovations. About 1 million tons of wheat is imported to Ethiopia from abroad and it’s important we fill the gap locally,” he told The Reporter.

GIZ is one of the leading developmental agencies in Ethiopia, involved in infrastructural, educational and agricultural projects within the nation. It is noted for partaking a mega project of constructing secondary institutions as well as road projects and training of thousands of Ethiopians.