Tepi Coffee fully privatised – Ethiopia

Green Coffee Agro Industry (GCAI) has bought a 49% share of Tepi Coffee Plantation (TCP) that was held by
Ethiopia’s government GCAI already held the other 51% share in TCP, which is the second largest coffee plantation in the country. GCAI will pay the government US$35,2 (R467m) for complete ownership of the plantation. Of this amount, the company has already paid about US$12,8m (R170,4m); the remainder will be paid over a five-year period, in terms of the deal.
A joint venture between GCAI and the government had been formed in 2011, with GCAI committing to improve
the productivity of the plantation from 400kg/ha to 1,200kg/ha. The company exceeded the target, achieving 1,300kg/ha, which formed the basis for the stake transfer agreement. Following the transfer of total ownership, the company will start to replace old plants with new ones, planting new coffee plants in vacant spaces and pruning existing ones to increase productivity.
Tadelle Abraha, general manager of GCAI said: “We are importing machinery from Colombia and Brazil for pruning and collection of coffee.”
The company plans to invest more than US$21m (R7,6 bn) to start roasting and packaging ground coffee and to replace ageing washing machines, originally imported from India and England, with new ones from Brazil,Abraha added.
The plantation currently produces more than 6,000 tons of coffee per year and plans to increase the area for growing coffee to 20,000ha in the next five years.
TCP has won numerous awards in recognition of its environmental practices and its commitment to sustainable coffee production.With the addition of TCP, GCAI now has three plantations. The other two are in Kaffa – one covering 1,500ha and the other 1,000ha.
Starbucks is a major buyer of GCAI’s coffee, according to Tadelle, who said that the company is also planning to sellcoffee honey to Starbucks – www.africanfarming.net