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The economic values of Coffea arabica biodiversity in Ethiopia
Aseffa Seyoum Wedajoo1, Tadesse Woldemariam Gole2, Franz Gatzweiler3
1Addis Ababa University, College of Development Studies
2Environment and Coffee Forest Forum, Ethiopia
3Chinese Academy of Sciences, ICSU-UNU
Ethiopia possesses the most important and diversified genepool of Coffea arabica including wild populations, traditional landraces and cultivated varieties. The availability of high genetic diversity is fundamental for any crop improvement programme for use by the plant breeders. In the absence of genetic diversity, any improvement endeavour is time consuming, expensive and with little success. Conservation of the coffee genes both in the wild and forests managed for coffee production in Ethiopia is crucial for sustainability of the coffee industry, through improvements of the cultivated coffee worldwide. This study presents economic valuation of Coffea arabica in terms of pest and disease resistance, increased productivity /yield, drought tolerance or climate change resilience, low caffeine content and higher cup quality.
The genetic resource diversity of Coffea arabica embedded in the natural forest has a wide range of benefits related coffee genetic enhancement, provision of ecological services as well as an intrinsic value. This economic assessment looked at the economic benefits of Coffea arabica genetic resources and genetic diversity in coffee breeding for enhanced cultivars, and its ecosystem service of coffee forest in term of climate change mitigation. Specifically, the assessment estimate used values of Coffea arabica biodiversity in term of benefits in coffee genetic enhancement for increased yield, increase pest and disease resistance, low caffeine, high cup quality, drought and climate change resilience, and GHG reduction using indirect market-based of revealed preference techniques.
Our assessment revealed enormous potential of Ethiopia’s Arabica coffee biodiversity to improve and sustainably produce coffee globally and in the country. If Ethiopia exploits its coffee genetic resources potential for coffee production in the country, it gets an additional benefit of USD 2.37-5.84 billion per year (see Table 2 below). Besides, if coffee producing countries use coffee genetic resources in Ethiopia to solve their coffee production problems, there is a potential economic benefit of USD7.6-8.1 billion per year. If users of these genetic resources are willing to pay 5% of their gain in economic benefit from the accessed Ethiopian coffee genetic resources to Ethiopia, the country can get additional income of about USD380-403 million per year.
Keywords: Arabica coffee, climate adaptation, diversity, drought tolerance, economic value, Ethiopia, productivity, quality, resilience
Contact Address: Tadesse Woldemariam Gole, Environment and Coffee Forest Forum, P.O. Box 28513, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, e-mail: twgolegmail.com