The Ethiopian Coffee & Tea Authority is set to start anew

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It has been revealed that the Ethiopian government is planning to restructure the nation’s coffee industry by creating a standalone entity to oversee all aspects of the sector.

With two separate departments already casting an eye on the native coffee industry, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has started to collate feedback on a draft proposal that would see the return of a single body to oversee coffee development in Ethiopia.

At the moment, the MoA is responsible for the development of the coffee (and tea) industries, whilst the Ministry of Trade (ToA) looks after the export side of the business.

According to reports on AllAfrica.com, who quote the MoA’s Fikru Amene, the new entity is provisionally titled the Coffee & Tea Development Board.

However there is a slight bitter taste about this sensible move. A couple of years ago the government decided that a similarly singular entity was unnecessary at the time and disbanded it. That move led to certain parts of the industry fall under the umbrella of different departments.

But this directive has come from the top: Hailemariam Desalegn, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, was the one to request the reformation of the development board a couple of months ago and the MoA has been drafting proposals and gathering market research ever since.

Some of the associations and bodies that have approached for guidance and feedback include the Ethiopian Coffee Roasters Association and the Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association.

One of the driving forces behind the decision was that the conflicting work of the MoA and ToA wasn’t delivering the required results. Despite quality rising, trade benefits have stagnated somewhat.

Fikru Amene said that by revert to a singular body, the industry would benefit from harmonised policies that would benefit all aspects of the sector.

The primary base of the phoenix Coffee & Tea Development Board is set to be in the capital city, Addis Ababa. Other, regional offices are believed to be under consideration too.

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