With active engagement in Ethiopia, UCC is playing a significant role in the coffee sector thereby contributing to nation’s agricultural and rural development, he added.

By Zelalem Yirga |

The Embassy of Japan co-hosted the first ever Coffee Quality Contest in Ethiopia in collaboration with a Japanese company, Ueshima Coffee Co. (UCC) aimed at assisting farmers improve their coffee quality, cultivation techniques thereby boosting their incomes.

Opening the contest held in his residence yesterday, Japanese Ambassador to Ethiopia Kazuhiro Suzuki said that coffee is not only the major agricultural product in Ethiopia but also a culture for the nations for centuries.

He quoted the African Economic Outlook 2014 as saying: “The average international market price of specialty coffee is 14 times higher than the average coffee price in Ethiopia’s domestic market.”

The ambassador, adding, said that there is a huge potential for the Ethiopian coffee in enhancing value addition practice, improving farmer’s lives and enhancing rural development.

The ambassador commented that the UCC’s coffee quality contest can be considered as an exemplary approach of Japanese business in providing various training, transferring technology and empowering human resources in the coffee sector.

With active engagement in Ethiopia, UCC is playing a significant role in the coffee sector thereby contributing to nation’s agricultural and rural development, he added.

Under the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Coffee Marketing Directorate Director Getahun Bikora on his part said that relation between Ethiopia and Japan has not been limited to coffee trade and business relations but also extended to political, social and cultural ties.

As Japanese technical aid to Ethiopia is instrumental, the two countries will broaden their relationships in all aspects particularly in technical cooperation and trade partnership, he added.

UCC President Masaro Ueshima on his part said that currently his company is the largest importer of Ethiopian coffee in Japan after eight-years of suspension of importing coffee from Ethiopia.

UCC is the first company to remedy the situation, and cooperate with local farmers in Ethiopia. Though UCC and Ethiopia have established close relationships for over many years, UCC will reiterate its commitment to support the development of the Ethiopian coffee industry through contest and promotion, he added.

Winners of the coffee contest have been awarded certificates after judged by the coffee experts based on the physical and sensory parameters.

Source: The Ethiopian Herald
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