Although historically known as the nation where the coffee plant originated, Ethiopia experiences a lot of issues and high levels of poverty. This is due to regional conflict and excessive dependence on the exportation of agricultural products.
One of the biggest exporters of coffee, Ethiopia's coffee business supports the livelihood of millions of households, coming down to about 30% of annual exports. Yet, it would shock you to learn that the average Ethiopian coffee farmer owns about $900 per year while the women who work in the coffee warehouses can make just about $20 per month.
Some efforts being made to tackle the issues farmers face and increase their income:
To encourage small-scale farmers, improve their productivity, as well as increase household incomes, an organization named Technoserve has come up with a project called "East Africa coffee initiative".
This organization promotes all the benefits of introducing and improving agronomical programs that are vital for coffee farming and reducing poverty in Ethiopia. Technoserve also has a massive role in increasing and enhancing the daily wages of coffee farmers. For example, one of its initiatives has been to provide farmers with skills and knowledge when it comes to price risk management, logistics, and even information on international coffee buyers, thus providing farmers with much-needed education on the coffee business.
Another initiative has been towards improving the coffee production process native to Ethiopia. It consists of sorting cherries by immersing them in water as ripened cherries sink and unripe ones float, enabling one to easily skim them off the top; this process is called the "wet process". Then comes the wet mill conductor, which takes away the outer skin and enables fermentation of sugars, thus changing the flavor of the bean fall in a span of one to two days.
Controlling this process has enabled farmers to improve the quality of their beans in this produce high-quality washed coffee beans, which is what Ethiopia coffee is renowned for. There's also been an increase in the number of wet mills for farmers to increase their seasonal income.
Hopefully, in the near future, we might witness an increase in such initiatives and a well-deserved rise in farmers' incomes.