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PARTICIPATING IN GLOBALIZATION PROCESSES AND ENSURING LOCAL FOOD SECURITY: TENSIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ETHIOPIAN COFFEE-GROWING REGIONS [Abstract ID: 1205-05]
Ethiopia is the world’s 6th largest producer of coffee. Exports represent roughly 40% of foreign currency inflows and more than one million households are involved in coffee production. For more than half a century, authorities have promoted the coffee sector in different ways: intensification programs, extension of the planted areas, strong value chain regulation to improve the positioning of Ethiopian coffee on the international market, etc. These efforts have accelerated in the last decade with the support of international donors, labeling organizations and agro-industrial firms. It can be observed that producing coffee is the way by which many rural Ethiopians connect with a globalized world, for the better or for the worse. But how do Ethiopian farmers integrate coffee at the farm level? What part of the producers’ income does coffee represent and which resources, labour and assets are allocated to it? What kind of interaction does coffee cultivation have with other farm activities, especially with food production? In this contribution, the authors will focus especially on the existing tension between coffee specialization and local food security. It is based on empirical evidence collected between 2008 and 2011 in three major coffee-growing areas representing contrasted agrarian systems – Jimma, Kafa and Yirga Cheffe – where coffee interacts with food production under very different modalities. The consequences of smallholders’ specialization in coffee production – in Jimma and Yirga Cheffe – and those of public policies oriented to increase coffee-growing areas by promoting large-scale private investments, especially in Kafa, have been analyzed both in terms of food security and socioeconomic differentiation. Then, the conditions under which coffee production could have a leverage effect on income generation, including food production for self-consumption and rural livelihoods improvement have been examined in order to understand how Ethiopian peasants could take an advantage of the globalization processes.