The Ethiopian government said the country made more than US$1.2 billion in revenue from the exports of coffee and oilseeds during the just-concluded Ethiopian fiscal year, as China deepened bilateral trade co-operation with the African nation, Xinhua reported.

The revenue was generated from the export of coffee, mung beans, white kidney beans, sesame seeds and soya beans.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s largest producers of Arabica coffee, in which coffee production is dubbed as the backbone of the country’s agriculture-led economy.

Ethiopia also recently revealed a new initiative to uplift the current close to 600,000 tons of annual coffee production to 1.8 million tons within the coming five years period, the report said.

According to the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority, the Chinese market is expected to be a major destination for the nation’s coffee exports.

In April this year, China and Ethiopia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on coffee exports to China and to deepen bilateral trade cooperation.

Amid increasing demand for coffee among younger Chinese, penetrating the emerging coffee market is also increasingly seen as a major priority among Ethiopian coffee producers and exporters.

Ethiopia’s sesame production, which is also considered as one of Ethiopia’s top export commodities next to coffee, has in recent years witnessed growing interest from the Chinese market, the report said.

Haile Berhe, President of the Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors-Exporters Association, told Xinhua recently that the export of sesame seed to China currently constitutes close to 70% of the East African country’s total export of the product to the global market.

China is already the east African country’s major export destination. Ethiopia, during the previous Ethiopian 2017-2018 fiscal year, had exported US$245 million in goods to China, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade.

According to Coffee Review, Ethiopian coffees are among the world’s most varied and distinctive, and at least one, Yirgacheffe, ranks among the very finest.

In addition most Ethiopia coffees are grown without use of agricultural chemicals in the most benign of conditions: under shade and interplanted with other crops.