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The Ethiopian government on Wednesday announced that coffee exports had brought the country 571 million U.S. dollars in revenue over the past six months.

Ethiopia exported 117,955 tons of coffee to the international market during the first half of the current Ethiopian 2023/24 fiscal year that started on July 8, the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority (ECTA) said on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the United States, Germany, Japan and China were the major destinations of Ethiopia’s coffee exports during the reported period, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate quoted Shafi Oumer, ECTA deputy director general, as saying.

Despite efforts to augment the coffee export volume and earnings, the authority said uncertainties in the global coffee market coupled with ongoing conflicts in coffee-importing countries have posed challenges.

During the previous Ethiopian 2022/23 fiscal year, the East African country earned 1.3 billion dollars in revenue from the export of around 240,000 tons of coffee. The export revenue, however, marked a notable decrease as compared with the fiscal year before it, when the country posted a record 1.4 billion dollars in revenue from the export of about 300,000 tons of coffee.

Ethiopia, regarded as the origin of Arabica coffee, is one of Africa’s largest producers and exporters of the commodity. Coffee production is dubbed as the backbone of the country’s agriculture-led economy.

Widely recognized for its rich coffee quality and flavor ranging from winy to fruity and chocolatey, the country’s coffee is in great demand across the globe.

Experts often attribute the lack of value addition to Ethiopia’s coffee sector as a major bottleneck that hinders the country from fully benefiting from its rich coffee resources, as it mainly exports raw coffee beans to the international market. ■

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