A U.S. Congressional Delegation toured the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union’s (YCFCU) processing plant in Addis Ababa during Obama’s state visit late last month. In 2014, the union’s 26 co-ops produced 40,000 tons of coffee but were only able to export 2,000 tons, just 5 percent.
Thanks to support provided by ACDI/VOCA’s Agricultural Growth Program-Agribusiness and Market Development (AGP-AMDe) project that includes training on post-harvest handling, sorting, storage; co-financing of a bean “washing” machine; and an assessment of the union’s financial needs that led to the securing of a significant loan, the union expects to double its exports by the end of this year. AGP-AMDe is a USAID-implemented Feed the Future initiative that focuses on agricultural development and food security.
Of the delegation’s tour of the plant and the union’s successes, USAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller said “Here, we saw today a lot of activities showing that USAID is supporting our partners. [The] Feed the Future initiative aims to transform agriculture, reduce poverty and improve nutrition by collaborating with the 60 million farmers of the country.”