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International Coffee Partners in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the largest coffee producer in Africa and the origin of Arabica coffee. Coffee is the country’s most important export commodity and has been part of Ethiopian culture for generations. Approximately 2.2 million smallholder families are engaged in coffee production with coffee as their main cash crop. Many of these smallholder farmers face a range of economic, social, and environmental problems which threaten their livelihoods and jeopardize the development of their farms.

The current ICP project is located in coffee-growing areas in the Amhara region. In Ethiopia, we focus on improving smallholder coffee farmer families' livelihoods and their economic situation by:

  • climate change adaptation,
  • supporting farmer organizations and its' apex organization,
  • promoting gender equality in farmer cooperatives and households,
  • supporting youth groups in income generation along the coffee value chain.

This ICP project continues the work of a first phase that was funded by the Lavazza Foundation, The Löfbergs Family Foundation, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

Achievements Since the First Project Started


Total households reached since 2001

3,842 ha

Impacted farmland in current phase

79 %

Adoption rate for Good Agricultural Practices in 2022

100 %

Climate-smart agricultural practices adoption rate in 2022

26 %

Rate of women in project activities and trainings in 2022


Number of supported farmer organizations in current phase

Current Project Phase – Coffee Alliances for Ethiopia (CAFE)

We aim to improve the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farming households by

  • enhancing their production and value adding of coffee and other crops in a sustainable way,
  • increasing their resilience to climate change,
  • increasing gender equality at all levels,
  • supporting efficient and inclusive farmer organizations.

The initiative for coffee&climate (c&c) approach is incorporated into the project to foster climate change adaptation. We also offer training on diversifying production systems.

The project also aims to improve gender relations in farming households. The unequal distribution of disposable income and workload between women and men in smallholder families is addressed through couple seminars. The objective is to achieve a fairer and more efficient use of the available resources through joint planning and decision-making. Further, the ICP project promotes the involvement of women in leadership positions in farmer organizations through awareness-raising and targeted training measures. As a pilot measure, the project also supports youth groups in the establishment of economically independent nurseries for coffee seedlings with improved properties. Moreover, the project contributes to the professionalization of 23 Coffee Farmer Cooperatives and the Amhara Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union (ACFCU), the apex organization for the cooperatives.

Yetubie Gashu and Belete Andualem

"Our life has transformed – our farm work, our standard of living, our relationship, and our family life. Before we joined the CAFE project, we did all farm work traditionally and at a quite low yield. Through the training in the project, we learned about professional coffee farming and how to sell our product in the market. We also learned about gender equality. There is a huge difference between our past life and now. In the past, my husband did not allow me to go out and expected me to handle all household chores. Because of this, there was no peace and love in our home. Now we do both the field and the household work together, spend much more time together, and discuss everything. We want to tell our story and be role models to others. That's why we work as Change Agents now."

Yetubie Gashu and Belete Andualem