Coffee is a major export commodity and the leading agricultural export for numerous countries. It is also one of the most valuable commodities exported by developing countries. Below are the top 10 coffee producing countries in Africa.
Ethiopia is currently the Africa’s leading producer of coffee, having produced well over 471,000 tonnes in 2021. Uganda ranks second with 209,325 tonnes, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Madagascar completes the top 5 coffee producing countries in Africa.
1. Ethiopia (471,247 Tonnes)
Coffee production in Ethiopia is a longstanding tradition which dates back dozens of centuries. Currently, Ethiopia is Africa’s largest coffee grower and the birth place of Coffea Arabica.
Total coffee production in Ethiopia has been rising continuously over the years from approximately 180 million tonnes in 1993 to over 471 million tonnes in 2021. Similarly, the area under coffee in Ethiopia has been rising over the years, in 2022 it had more than doubled compared to 1993.
2. Uganda (209,325 tonnes)
Coffee is Uganda’s top-earning export crop and the second-highest foreign exchange earner for the country generating more than $400m every year.
Uganda is one of the few countries in the world with indigenous coffee, with Robusta coffee growing wild around Lake Victoria.
Uganda’s coffee production averages a total of 209,000 tonnes annually making it the second largest producer of coffee coffee in Africa.
3. Ivory Coast (103,514 tonnes)
With an average of 103,514 tonnes per year, Ivory Coast is the third highest coffee producing country in Africa. The country produces mostly natural Robusta coffee, grown at 300-400 metres altitude.
Coffee production in Ivory Coast is extremely important for the economy of the Côte d’Ivoire as it is the second largest export commodity of the country.
4. Tanzania (55,789 tonnes)
Coffee production in Tanzania is a significant aspect of its economy as it is Tanzania’s largest export crop. Tanzanian coffee production averages between 40,000 and 59,000 metric tonnes annually of which approximately 70% is Arabica and 30% is Robusta.
The government of Tanzania helps out thousands of farmers in the industry with relevant technological advances and educating farmers on better farming practices in keeping with continuous profession development and current coffee farming industry best practises, their sole aim is to rejuvenate and increase the revenue from coffee export.
5. Madagascar (47,387 tonnes)
From 1960 to the 1980s, Madagascar was the world’s eighth largest producer in the world but things took a turn for the worse at the end of the 20th century due to a price crash and today they are the 5th largest producer of coffee in Africa and the twentieth largest producer in the world.
Madagascar is primarily a robusta producer. The species comprises around 90% of all coffee production in the country. The remaining 10% is arabica. Malagasy robusta is grown in the tropical regions of the country between altitudes of 100 to 300 m.a.s.l., and is harvested from June and July onwards.
6. Kenya (40,800 tonnes)
Coffee is one of the most important cash crops in Kenya. It is grown in large scale plantations as well as by small scale holders giving a total production of about 40,500 tonnes annually. The main variety in Kenya is Arabica coffee.￼
Kenya’s coffee production has been on a decline as many farmers take to other crops in particular avocado and macadamia while others sell their farmlands to real estate developers due to various challenges.
7. Sierra Leone (35,720 tonnes)
Averaging slightly above 35,000 tonnes every annually, Sierra Leone is Africa’s seventh largest coffee grower. Along with cocoa, coffee is one of the major cash crops of Sierra Leone and is mainly cultivated in tropical rainforest regions in the Southern and Eastern provinces of the country.
8. Cameroon (30,984 tonnes)
Coffee is grown extensively in Cameroon, with robusta more prevalent in the coastal areas and arabica more widespread in the western highlands.
The production of Cameroon’s coffee is placed under the responsibility of the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) and that of Scientific Research and Innovations (MINRESI). Under these ministries there are various projects to boost coffee production.
9. DR Congo (29,912 tonnes)
Coffee production in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is centered in the Lake Kivu provinces. There are about 11,000 coffee farmers in the country
Many varieties of coffee are grown in the DRC but the two major species are Robusta and Arabica.
DR Congo produces an average of 29,912 tonnes of coffee annually, making it the ninth largest producer of coffee in Africa.
10. Togo (18,476 tonnes)
Togo is a tropical sub-Saharan country that grows primarily Robusta coffee for export. All coffee grown in Togo is exported, and coffee makes up 10% of the country’s total exports.
Togo is the tenth largest producer of coffee in Africa and produces an average of 18,476 tonnes of coffee annually, according to the International Coffee Organization.
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