East Africa is expected to harvest a record amount of coffee in the 2015-16 growing season, a report by US Department of Agriculture Addis Ababa bureau showed.
The region, which is known for its Arabica brand of coffee, is expected to produce a total of 12.6 million bags of the commodity, with 9.4 million of these destined for foreign markets.
According to World Coffee Press this will be the most fruitful harvest in the region in two decades and the second highest harvest since 1961 when the data was first compiled.
Ethiopia, Africa’s largest coffee producer and the fifth largest coffee producer in the world, is predicted to produce just over 6.5 million bags of Arabica this year, a record high for the horn of Africa country. This however lower than government forecast of 7.7 million bags.
Other regional countries including Tanzania and Uganda are expected to also see higher produce after a tough 2014-15.
Tanzania, where coffee farming supports 2.4 million people and generates an average of $100 million according to SciDev.net, is expected to hit 1.25 million bags in the 2015-16 period, agrimoney.com reported.
The report also forecast a recovery in coffee output in Uganda by 250,000 bags to 3.80 million bags in 2015-16, on an October-to-September basis, after a dent to this season’s result from drought.
Only Kenya’s production is seen holding steady at 900,000 bags, with the loss of plantations around Nairobi to real estate development offset by officially-based moves to expand elsewhere.
The US Department of Agriculture however issued a warning that the quality of this harvest could be affected due to the high rains the region is experiencing.
“The quality of the coffee crop might deteriorate somewhat due to the delayed Belg rains and the timing of the Meher rains,” the report says.
“However at this stage, it is too early to tell what that overall impact on quality might be.”