Ethiopia Economy

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41 Comments · Agriculture

Tea is a stimulant crop introduced to Ethiopia more than half a century ago. Though known for long, in this traditionally high coffee consuming country, the habit for tea developed only gradually and the demand has been met by importation.

Although the ideal climate and soil conditions are found in Ethiopia the limited demand has no doubt contributed to the slow rate of its development as a commercial crop.

The exploitation of this potential got serious consideration only after the revolution, and, until very recently, tea growing was limited to an experimental area of only 11 hectares at Wushwush in Kefa region with a plan to raise to 500 hectares. At Gumero, in Ilubabor region, a farm has been expanded to 390 hectares and is proposed to plant another 240 hectares.

Preparations are underway to install a new factory capable of processing 1200 tons of marketable tea annually.

This is expected to satisfy half the country’s demand two years after the commencement of operation. Five years later the combined output of the two estates is expected to meet the domestic demand fully.

The objective also includes the involvement of peasant cooperatives in the production of tea. With all the assistance required being given by the state, there is real hope that significant amount can be produced for export.

(Source: National Atlas of Ethiopia)


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