International Coffee Partners (ICP) in Ethiopia

Active since 2019

Current project phase until 2023

Ethiopia is the largest coffee producer in Africa and the country of origin of Arabica coffee. Coffee is the country’s most important export commodity and has been part of the 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 the individual farms.

The current project is located in coffee-growing areas in the Amhara region. ICP in Ethiopia focuses on improving smallholder coffee farmer families livelihoods including their economic situation by:

– promoting coffee farmers adaptive capacity to climate change,
– supporting farmer organizations and its apex organization,
– promoting gender equality in Farmer Cooperatives and at household level,
– starting the support of youth groups in income generating activities 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 (HRNS) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

Map of Ethiopia and Africa

Since 2010, ICP has implemented projects in several coffee producing regions in Africa. Click the following button to view all past projects and access the attached final reports:

Achievements since first project started:

Farmer Organizations ICP worked with

Total households reached

Active Farmer Field Schools

Area under target crop (Arabica):
1,156 ha

Total household members reached:

Total impacted farmland

Current project phase – Coffee Alliances for Ethiopia (CAFE)

Improve the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farming households by:

  • Enhancing coffee farmers production and adding value of coffee and other crops in a sustainable way,
  • Increase smallholder coffee farmers resilience to climate change,
  • Increasing gender equality by addressing it at all levels of the intervention,
  • Supporting efficient and inclusive farmer organizations.

To further develop activities to strengthen the adaptation to changing climatic conditions the initiative for coffee&climate (c&c) approach is incorporated into the project. Through the work of c&c in Ethiopia, coffee farming households are supported to improve their adaptive capacity to climate change. The ICP project in Ethiopia also offers training on diversifying production system.

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.

Farmer Testimonial:

Emebet and Birhanu Mekonnen

The quality of our coffee was questionable. During the project, we professionalized coffee production. We are encouraged by the outcome and acquired additional coffee land and now we manage more than 2 hectares – 2.5 times of what we had before. We are supplying high-quality coffee for the export market through our cooperative. Change also happened in the household. We are planning together and take decisions on household issues including coffee marketing, saving money, spending money together. We are respecting each other’s ideas as well as caring for one another.

Find out how coffee farmers in Ethiopia are dealing with lost harvests due to Covid-19: