Coffee is nature’s gift to Ethiopia in particular and the world in general, which requires special care and proper utilization. One out standing characteristics of Ethiopian coffee is that the fertility of soil is maintained by organic recycling. Farmers do not use chemical fertilizers but falling leaves, dead plants and manures. In fact one of the secrets of producing high quality coffee is that the farmers have developed an environment friendly coffee growing culture.
It is considered that the name coffee is derived from the name Kafa, a district in Ethiopia where the beans is believed to have originated. Kaffa is generally regarded to be the region from where the Arabica strain of coffee originated, and it is also where this plant was first cultivated. A popular legend, said variously to date to between the 3rd and 10th centuries, claims that a young herdsman called Kaldi first observed the stimulating properties of wild coffee. The word coffee already passed in to English lexicon by the year 1700. The French and Spanish call coffee as Café, the Italian caffe, the German kaffe, the Finnish khavi, the Dutch koffie, the Greek kafes, the Javanese kope, the Japanese kohi, the Russians coffee and so on.
Coffee is the most important export commodity of Ethiopia. Coffee Arabica, which originated in Ethiopia, has been grown for century’s way before any other part of the world. Since time immemorial, Coffee Arabica has been grown in the wild forests of the southwestern highlands (Kaffa and Buno districts) of the country. Ethiopia is the primary center and origion of the Arabica Coffee plant, earlier known as Jasminum arabicum laurifolia.
Coffee is the most important commercial crop in Ethiopia, contributing more than 60percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. the potential for coffee production in Ethiopia is very high due to the country’s coffee producing areas suitable attitude, rainfall, and temperature, appropriate planting materials and fertile soil.