Caffeine high? Climate-hit Ethiopia shifts coffee uphill

Caffeine high? Climate-hit Ethiopia shifts coffee uphill

[HAMBELA, (businesstimes)—Ethiopia] Few countries take coffee as seriously as Ethiopia – and that’s not only because it prides itself as being the source of the prized Arabica bean.

But rising temperatures and worsening drought linked to climate change are now hitting production – and fixing that may require moving many Ethiopian coffee fields uphill, experts say.

Aside from its cultural value, coffee is Ethiopia’s single largest source of export revenue, worth more than US$860 million in the 2016-2017 production year.

But coffee-growing areas in eastern Ethiopia have seen the average temperature climb 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.3 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past three decades, according to the Environment, Climate Change and Coffee Forest Forum (ECCCFF), an Ethiopian non-governmental organisation.