Restoring degraded coffee landscapes in Ethiopia

In the UNESCO biosphere reserve "Yayu Coffee Forest", the majority of the population depends on coffee as a source of income. Coffee grows naturally in the forests of Ethiopia, in partially forested systems or close to homes in "Garden Coffee" cultivation. Due to low crop yields, smallholder farmers are expanding cultivation into the protected area. Consequences are forest degradation and soil degradation. The project will introduce a low-emission and climate-resilient coffee farming system. Implementation on coffee farms will conserve biodiversity and reduce pressure on the forest. About 2,000 families will be trained in sustainable coffee growing and processing methods. Eight farmer cooperatives and the regional coffee cooperative will be supported with capacity-building activities. With the aim of scaling up, an investment-ready coffee business model and monitoring system for zero-deforestation coffee is being developed with various public and private sector stakeholders.

Project data

IKI funding
1,475,336.00 €
09/2018 till 12/2024
Implementing organisation
Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung
Political Partner
  • Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC) - Ethiopia
  • Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) - Ethiopia
Implementing Partner
  • Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung Ethiopia - Äthiopien
  • UNIQUE forestry and land use GmbH

State of implementation/results

  • Completion of baseline and pre-feasibility study to narrow down pilot regions, framework and target groups.
  • Presentation to relevant stakeholders and local support via fact-finding mission from October 01 to October 14, 2018 (together with partner Unique forestry and land use GmbH).
  • Registration of 2005 smallholder coffee producers involved in the project and establishment of 72 field schools.
  • Establishment of 63 coffee and shade tree nurseries managed by coffee producers. The coffee tree seedlings produced to date support the needed rejuvenation of coffee farms through new plantings.
  • Implementation of a developed training program to promote sustainable farming practices, with the goal of increasing production quality and improving the livelihoods of coffee-producing families.
  • HRNS facilitated participatory training on sustainable and yield-increasing agricultural farming practices at 72 demonstration plots in the fields of smallholder coffee producers. These trainings include practices to protect soil, water, and forest resources.
  • Field visit from 4 March to 11 March 2020 to collect data for cost-benefit analysis and interviews with local partners (together with partner Unique forestry and land use GmbH).
  • Strengthening eight regional farmer cooperatives and one coffee cooperative by providing essential services in the areas of processing, storage, and marketing.
  • Establishing a project page on the HRNS homepage presenting the objectives, main activities, and partners (www.hrnstiftung. org/project/iki/)
  • Preparation of a feasibility study presenting the potential of scaling up sustainable coffee production in the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia.
  • Presentation and discussion of the feasibility study within a workshop in March 2021 in Addis Ababa with experts from the coffee sector and forest sector as well as project implementers who are also active in the Illubabor region.
  • The training manual on sustainable coffee cultivation practices developed within the project will now also be used in the GIZ project 'Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative' in the neighboring region
  • Representative household surveys including calculation of the Living Income Gap were conducted in March 2022.
  • Creation and publication of a policy brief on landscape level degradation monitoring:…
  • Creation of a video on the project and a webstory published on international Forest Day on 21 March 2022:… and…

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Thumbnail Video "Reforestation at the origin of coffee in Ethiopia"

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