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INTRO | HIGHLIGHTS | FEATURES | FOCUS | PERSPECTIVES | BIOS

VICTORIA RIDLEY explains how climate change threatens one of East Africa’s biggest cash crops

High-up in the forested mountains of South-East Ethiopia, a country more famed for famine than agricultural productivity, green trees with plump red berries thrive. These are Coffea arabica trees, the source of arabica coffee that is native to this region of Ethiopia. Dubbed ‘Black Gold’ in a 2006 film, coffee is one of the world’s most valuable agricultural commodities and in Ethiopia alone 15 million people are dependent upon this industry.

The value of coffee in East Africa Across the East Africa region arabica coffee thrives in pockets usually at high altitudes. Coffee farming and the associated production industries employ millions of people across the region and contribute greatly to the East African economy, an area often associated with poverty stricken nations. The economic importance of coffee is striking. According to the UN, in 2008 the small landlocked country of Burundi was the eighth poorest in the world and coffee accounted for 84 percent of the total value of agricultural exports. In Ethiopia, it is not only the economic value of coffee that is important to the nation. As the homeland of arabica coffee, producing, brewing and drinking coffee is deeply engrained into Ethiopian history, culture and heritage.

Hazard Risk Resilience (high-res)  

This is the high-res version of the first issue of IHRR's new magazine. It introduces research projects from the Institute of Hazard, Risk a...

Hazard Risk Resilience (high-res)  

This is the high-res version of the first issue of IHRR's new magazine. It introduces research projects from the Institute of Hazard, Risk a...