The Ethiopian government plans to increase coffee exports by 45 percent in 2016 through incentives and increased support to farmers as the population suffers food shortages in one of the worst droughts in 50 years.
Coffee made up almost half of Ethiopia’s gross domestic product in 2014, according to the World Bank, BusinessWeek reported.
The crop was responsible 84 percent of exports and 80 percent of total employment in Ethiopia.
The U.N. estimates that 15 percent of Ethiopians will face food shortages in 2016. That’s 15 million people, ABC reports.
Crop production has failed completely in some areas of Ethiopia and is down 50-to-90 percent in others, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Aid groups are calling Ethiopia’s food shortages a “code red emergency” and questioning the international response, according to ABC.
Ethiopian coffee makes up 18 percent of the German market and 16 percent of Saudi Arabian demand, BusinessWeek reported.
The country has become a favorite source of coffee for major specialty coffee blenders — especially from the U.S. These include Starbucks, which operates 23,450 locations worldwide, including 12,937 in the U.S.
In recent years, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has helped the Ethiopian government and coffee cooperatives improve production, processing and marketing of Ethiopian coffee.
The program has mapped the country’s coffee washing and hulling stations and installed technology to trace coffee purchased through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange.
Ethiopian coffee exports will increase 45 percent to over 260,000 tons in 2016, the government said in statement early this month.
Incentives will include loans for coffee exporters and processors, links to marketing, and promoting Arabica coffee at trade shows abroad, said a trade ministry spokesman.
Ethiopia earned $780 million exporting 184,000 tons of coffee in 2014 and it also has a strong domestic market, BusinessWeek reported.
The current El Niño, the strongest on record, has caused severe drought in parts of Ethiopia, triggering a decline in food security and massive drop in pastoral and agricultural production, IBTimes reported.
Ethiopia’s livestock population is the largest in Africa. Its cattle, sheep, goats, horses, camels and chickens outnumber the country’s human population, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, UNFAO.
Farmers are running out of available grazing land and water as urbanization expands into rural areas. Some of the land that pastoralists once relied on for herding is overgrazed or has been turned into ranches, private farms, game parks and urban centers, IBTimes reported.
As many as 150 people died and many were arrested by Ethiopian security forces during recent protests against government plans to expand development of Addis Ababa to surrounding towns in the Oromia region. Protesters opposed a plan that would displace farmers and herders from fertile, ancestral lands.
South Africa is blessed with such a beautiful and dynamic array of wildlife and wilderness that we tend to inspire the world to come knocking at our front door. There is, of course, the famous Kruger National Park, which no doubt deserves its praise, but have you ever considered adding the ocean to the mix? Somewhere where both marine and land life coalesces into one unforgettable experience?
Consider a South African adventure at one of our beautiful coastal national parks.
Garden Route National Park
It’s called the Garden Route for a reason. This is one of the green and gorgeous routes to meander through in South Africa and its national park is just one more tower in heaven’s castle. The Garden Route National Park is split into three beautiful sections, completely removed from one another. En route you’ll find Wilderness, Knysna and Tsitsikamma, and perhaps in the mix, you’ll find yourself.
Wilderness is a “fascinating combination of rivers, lakes, estuaries and beaches, unfolding against the backdrop or lush forests and imposing mountains. During spring, the area is beautifully blanketed by a kaleidoscope of colourful blossoms, further enhancing its profound beauty.”
Knysna consists of a beautiful section of lakes and inlets and is situated along the Garden Route between the mountain forests and coastal lagoons of the Garden Route’s shoreline.
Tsitsikamma is a beautiful vision by the sea where you can experience coastal scenery alongside lush forests and delicate Fynbos. With hiking, water sports and adventure, it is a rare treat on the famous Garden Route.
West Coast National Park
If you’re visiting the Western Cape and you’re looking to uncover the real Western Cape, look no further than the West Coast National Park. Only an hour and a half’s drive outside of Cape Town, you can absorb the sapphire waters of the Langebaan Lagoon, focal point of the West Coast National Park.
With thousands of seabirds roosting on its sheltered islands, luscious golden beaches and interesting salt marshes, this gem of the Cape provides the perfect setting for your South African getaway.
Namaqua National Park
If a painting could come to life then that living tapestry could be called the Namaqua National Park. Most famous during blooming season, if you’re looking to capture happiness in a bottle then you need to take a trip to Namaqua National Park and let its carpet of spring flowers, unspoilt coastlines, and diverse wildlife whisk you away.
Agulhas National Park
Right on the southern tip of Africa you can discover the windswept and rugged beauty of Agulhas National Park. Famous in history as the one the most challenging sea crossings, where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic, this corner of South Africa is rich in culture and national heritage.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park
This is one of South Africa’s first World Heritage Sites is a beautiful consortium of eight interdependent ecosystems and an overwhelming diversity of flora and fauna. The park, formerly known as the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, is a prime destination for those looking for a combination of marine splendour and pristine beaches.
South Africa’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Sibaya, also forms part of the park. Formed against thickly forested coastal dunes, its clear waters support the province’s second-largest hippo and crocodile population.