Africa produces about 13 per cent of the global supply of coffee
Ethiopia is the motherland of Coffee Arabica. Coffee has been growing in Ethiopia for thousands of years, in the forests of southwestern highlands.
The word coffee drives from Kaffa, a place in the South Western Ethiopian highlands where it was first discovered.
It is also known to be the first Coffee Arabica exporter in Africa and is currently the fifth largest coffee producer in the world. It is believed that coffee cultivation and drinking began as early as the 9th century in Ethiopia.
Uganda is one of the leading coffee exporters in Africa. Its robusta trees are some of the finest in the world. In Uganda, where coffee is the second export commodity after oil, it is said an increase in local consumption to only 20 per cent will drastically bump up the economy.
Uganda has successively managed to maintain coffee as the main engine of the national economy, exporting on average four million 60-kg bags per year.
About 70 per cent of Kenyan coffee is produced by small- scale holders. In 2012 there were about 150,000 coffee farmers in Kenya with six million locals working directly or indirectly in the industry.
Acidic soil in highlands of central Kenya, just the right amount of sunlight and rainfall provide excellent conditions for growing coffee plants. Coffee from Kenya is one of the most sought-after in the world.
Small farms across the Democratic Republic of Congo produce both Robusta and Arabica blends. There are about 11,000 coffee farmers in the country currently.
Eight districts of South Kivu province are planning to resume coffee farming with Orientale province eyeing robusta and Bandundu province utilising about 700 hectares for Arabica. Arabica accounts for one fifth of the total production of coffee.
5. South Africa
Over the years, coffee farming in South Africa (SA) has been limited to relatively few producers. In SA, according to Africa Business, coffee shops contributed about 2.8 per cent of the annual growth for takeaway and fast food.
SA’s consumption of coffee beans increased from 29,760 tonnes in 2012/13 production year to 35,400 tonnes in 2015/16, a compounded annual growth rate of 4.4 per cent.
In 2017, coffee production in Burundi stood at 14,000 tonnes. Though Burundi coffee production fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to increase through 1968 to 2017 period.
Ranked the 31st country in the world’s top coffee production, Burundian coffee has reached a new level. Local baristas are now competing for the best flavour in the country.
Coffee production in Madagascar accounts for nearly a third of the country’s export economy. Smallholders produce more than 90 per cent of the country’s coffee, and many choose to harvest wild coffee trees just once a year to produce higher quality. Currently about 90 per cent of Madagascar coffee production is Arabica.
8. Ivory Coast
It is estimated that nearly 45 per cent of the population of Côte d’Ivoire makes its living from coffee production.
The specialty robusta blends are particularly popular. Ivory Coast aims to produce four times as much coffee as its current annual output of around 100,000 tonnes by 2020 under a new development plan.
Angola expects to produce 50,000 tonnes of coffee by 2022, six times more than the production of 8,000 tonnes recorded in the period from September 2016 to June 2017.
Angola which at one time was the world’s fourth-largest coffee producer, is investing massively to re-launch its decimated coffee industry at a time when low world market prices are slowly increasing.
The spicy flavours of Cameroonian arabica coffee have earned the country a reputation for excellent quality, but Cameroon’s natural robusta production has also gained international popularity.
Cameroon’s ideal climatic balance ensures its coffee’s high quality. Cameroon celebrated its fifth edition of Festicoffee with a coffee tasting day in 2017. Festicoffee is a platform for the promotion and trade of coffee from Cameroon.