Analysis of Coffee Value Chain: The Case of Yirgachefe District, Gedeo Zone, Southern Nation Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, Ethiopia

Coffee produced in Yirgachefe had been internationally known as the rarest and most prized coffee, especially in America. But farmers in Yirgacheffe complain that they are not benefited from the existing coffee supply and half of the coffee supplied to ECX to be exported does not fulfill the quality criteria of ECX. These might be due to some technical and socio-economic factors. Thus this study was conducted to identify those factors that reduced the quality of Yirgachefe coffee. The general objective of this study was analyzing coffee value chain and Its specific objectives were to trace the value chain of Yirgachefee coffee AS-IS from input supply to consumption, to identify all the constraints that impede the competitiveness of coffee produced in the study area in the national and global market and to determine the role of actors in the coffee value chain for the intervention. To achieve these objectives, both primary and secondary data were collected from 130 farm households, 16 traders, 3 processors and 17 consumers using pre tested semi-structured questionnaire and from different published and unpublished sources. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics, mapping and narrative approach. The study result showed that there is a gap between the bench mark value chain and the existing AS-IS value chain in input supply, land preparation, production and harvesting, processing and marketing functions. Regarding input supply, shortage of improved seeds, reduced productivity due to manual operation and transmission of coffee disease due to untreated hand tools are identified as constraints on the AS-IS value chain. Absence of ploughing practice before holing and lack of holing machine were identified as constraints related to land preparation. Production problems identified were farm operations such as slashing, hoeing, pruning, stumping and de-suckering using manual tools; use of un-decomposed or substandard compost; no mulching practice; intercropping competitive non-leguminous plants and untimely uprooting the infected coffee tree. Lack of machine support and picking unripe and over ripped cherries together with the red cherry are out of harvesting problems. Quality problems due to processing mixed varieties of coffee; using pulping machines inappropriately and operating with maladjusted disk type, which creates quality problems, manual separation and shortage of drying materials such as mesh wire sacks made from fibbers, are also out of processing problems. Regarding marketing, insufficient storage units; wastage during sample taking and extra warehousing costs are identified as constraints in the AS-IS value chain. The study result indicated the need to encourage the entry of TVET, IOT and coffee, tea and spices authority to fill the gap.

Author(s): Tizazu Toma Dilebo*

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