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Italy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have signed a financing agreement for a project entitled ‘Improving the Sustainability and Inclusiveness of the Ethiopian Coffee Value Chain through Private and Public Partnership.’

The project, which is supported by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation with a budget of €2.5 million, will be implemented by UNIDO in partnership with Illycaffè and the Ernesto Illy Foundation, and in close synergy with Ethiopian institutions, including the recently established Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority.

The project will be implemented in Addis Ababa, and in two regional states, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ (SNNP) Region, over three years. Its aim is to increase the quality, traceability and international recognition of Ethiopian coffee in order to raise coffee export revenues and the incomes of smallholder farmers.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Giuseppe Mistretta, Ambassador of Italy to Ethiopia, said: “Italy is investing important resources in the economic development of Ethiopia through the support for agricultural value chains (durum wheat, tomato and coffee) and agro-industry. We see agricultural and industrial development as strongly related. I appreciate the collaboration with Illycaffè and their effort to promote Ethiopian coffee.”

Gustavo Aishemberg, UNIDO Representative and Director of the Regional Office in Ethiopia, said that the project will improve the Ethiopian coffee supply chain value and enhance the inclusiveness and the integration of all the Ethiopian coffee sector stakeholders.

The initiative, which is in line with Ethiopia’s Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII), will implement strategic activities to support smallholder farmers and cooperatives through the introduction of best agronomic practice to increase yields, through technical skills transfer and the provision of practical tool boxes for an optimized post-harvest process, washing station infrastructures, and cupping laboratories, and through the dissemination of modern marketing techniques.

In addition, the technical capacities of the Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority will receive support and the first coffee roasting training centre will be established in Addis Ababa with a view to improving local expertise and upgrading the country’s roasted coffee production capacity.

It is expected that the project will improve co-ordination among all the actors involved in the coffee value chain, and raise the quantity and quality of exported coffee, leading to an increased presence of Ethiopian coffee on the international market.

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