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Friday, November 9, 2012

Wild Arabica is important because crops grown in plantations have limited genetic diversity

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Climate change could severely reduce the areas suitable for wild Arabica coffee before the end of the century.
That is the conclusion of work by a UK-Ethiopian team published in the academic journal Plos One.
It supports predictions that a changing climate could damage global production of coffee - the world's second most traded commodity after oil.
Wild Arabica is important for the sustainability of the coffee industry because of its genetic diversity.
Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee are the two main species used commercially, although the former provides about 70% of production.
The Arabica crops grown in the world's coffee plantations are from very limited genetic stock and are thought to lack the flexibility to cope with climate change and other threats such as pests and diseases.
The researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, UK, and the Environment and Coffee Forest Forum (ECFF) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, examined the future distribution of wild Arabica using climate modelling.
They looked at how wild Arabica might be affected under three different carbon emission scenarios and over three time intervals (2020, 2050 and 2080).
When the researchers looked at what would happen in the locations where Arabica was currently grown, the best-case outcome was a 65% reduction in suitable sites by 2080.
The worst-case outcome was a 99.7% reduction by 2080.
A different analytical approach yielded a 38% reduction as the most favourable outcome and a 90% reduction as the least favourable by 2080.
Cause for concern
Aaron Davis, head of coffee research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, said: "The extinction of Arabica coffee is a startling and worrying prospect. However, the objective of the study was not to provide scaremonger predictions for the demise of Arabica in the wild.
"The scale of the predictions is certainly cause for concern, but should be seen more as a baseline, from which we can more fully assess what actions are required."
CoffeeArabica accounts for 70% of commercial production
The researchers said the results should be regarded as "conservative", because the modelling does not factor in the large-scale deforestation that has occurred in the highland forests of Ethiopia and South Sudan (the natural home of Arabica coffee).
Moreover, because of the lack of suitable data, the models assumed intact natural vegetation, whereas the highland forests of Ethiopia and South Sudan are highly fragmented due to deforestation.
Ethiopia remains a big producer of the Arabica variety, but Brazil and Colombia are now the two largest countries for commercial Arabica growing.
Other factors, such as pests and diseases, changes in flowering times, and shifting bird numbers (which disperse the coffee seeds), were also not included in the modelling.
Co-author Tadesse Woldemariam Gole, from the ECFF said: "As part of a future-proofing exercise for the long-term sustainability of Arabica production it is essential that the reserves established in Ethiopia to conserve Arabica genetic resources are appropriately funded and carefully managed."

The construction of a key road linking Kenya to Ethiopia started Wednesday (November 7th) when Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki launched the Turbi-Moyale road project.
The construction of the road, which will cost about US$176 million "will have a big impact on the wider East Africa region in terms of trade and regional integration," President Kibaki said. He pointed out that the road will also enhance trade between the two countries as well as open up Northern Kenya to more trade and business and contribute to an increase in the volume of Ethiopian goods transiting through the port of Mombasa.
President Kibaki added that Kenya expected "that upon completion, this road will result in reduction of transport costs, shortening of transit times for imports and exports, and reduction in vehicle operating costs,". The Turbi-Moyale road is the final Kenyan section of the Trans- Africa Highway Corridor; and the 122 km section is the third phase of the Isiolo-Moyale road corridor being upgraded to bitumen standards by the government with the support of the African Development Bank (ADB).
The project will incorporate the construction of a One-Stop Border Post at Moyale and a weighbridge which will further facilitate trade and transport between Kenya and Ethiopia.
ADDIS ABABA — Thirty-four Ethiopian opposition parties have signed a petition to demand the elections next April - on the district, regional and city levels - be free and fair.

Opposition parties were invited by the Election Board last week to discuss the schedule of the polls.  When the parties asked to discuss irregularities that occurred during previous elections, the meeting was adjourned.

Alessa Mengesha, chairman of the Gedeo People’s Democratic Organization opposition party, says several issues need to be discussed in depth.

“We have seen elections in Ethiopia in the past couple of years and decades, and those elections have always been marked by irregularities.  And those irregularities include irregularities during voting registration, irregularities during election campaigns, irregularities during vote-counting and even post-election irregularities," he said. "We have witnessed all those.”

Thirty-four of Ethiopia's 75 opposition parties have signed a petition demanding the next vote be free and fair.

The petition lays out 18 points of how the Election Board can ensure a better process.  Among other things, the parties say they want to be involved in the election administration, and request equal access to government media.

Asrat Tassie, secretary-general of the Unity for Democracy and Justice party, the only opposition party that holds a seat in parliament, says it is very important that the opposition can freely name and put in place their own election observers.

“A candidate has its own observers.  So what happens is they ask the names of those observers 10 days before the election.  So as soon as the election board receives the names of those observers, the government harasses them," he said. "Some will be arrested; some will be chased out of the town and so on.  So we don’t want to give them the names of our observers.”

European Union observers said the previous election in 2010 fell short of international standards.  They said resources of the state were used to support the campaign of ruling party EPRDF, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.  The ruling party and its allies won all but one seat in the 546-member parliament.

The elections of 2005 resulted in mass demonstrations against the government.  Nearly 200 people were killed in election-related violence, and dozens of people, including prominent opposition leaders, are still imprisoned.

The Election Board said it has received the opposition parties' petition but needs more time to respond to the demands.

በአዲሰ አበባ እየተካሄደ ያለው አለም አቀፍ የኢትዮጵያ ቡናዎች ላኪዎች ጉባኤ የኢትዮጵያን ባለ ልዩ ጣዕም ቡናዎች ለአለም ለማስተዋወቅ፣ በአለም አቀፍ ገበያ ያላቸውን ተቀባይነት ለማሳደግና የገጠሙትን ፈተናዎች ተወያይቶ ለመፍታት አልሟል፡፡

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለማርያም ደሳለኝ ዘርፉ ለኢትዮጵያ 1 ሚሊዬን አርሶ አደሮችና ለሌሎች 15 ሚሊዬን ዜጎች የስራ እድል በመፍጠርና የገቢ ምንጭ በመሆን የሸቀጦች የውጭ ንግድን በበላይነት እየመራ መሆኑን ተናግረዋል፤ ለዘርፉ መጠናከርም የመንግስት ቁርጠኝነት እንደሚቀጥል ነው የገለፁት፡፡

«መንግስት በቡና ዘርፍ ሙሉ ድጋፍ መስጠቱን አጠናክሮ ይቀጠላል፡፡ ባለ ልዩ ጣዕም ቡናዎች ምቹ ተፈጥሯዊ ሁኔታ ያለንን ያክል ከዘርፉ ተጠቃሚዎች መሆን አለብን፡፡ እኛ በኢትዮጵያ በአነስተኛ ማሳዎች ቡና ለሚያሙ አርሶ አደሮች ትኩረት ሰጥተን እየደገፍን ነው፡፡ የግሉ ባለሃብትም በዘርፉ እንዲሰማራ ሰፊ ጥረትም ተደረጓል፡፡ ቁጥሩ ብዙ የሆነ የግል ባለሃብትም በዘርፉ ውጤት እያስመዘገበ ነው፡፡»

የንግድ ሚኒስትሩ አቶ ከበደ ጫኔ በበኩላቸው የቡናው ዘርፍን ለመደገፍ መንግስት የግብይት ስርዓቱን በማዛመን፣ የትራንስፖርት ችግሮችን በመቅረፍና ገበያ በማፈላለግ ለዘርፉ ከፍተኛ እገዛ እያደረገ መሆኑን ነው የተናገሩት፡፡

«ኢትዮጵያ ድህነትን በመቅረፍ ረገድ አበረታች ውጤት እያስመዘገበች ትገኛለች፤ የግብርና ምርቷንም በእጥፍ ለማሳደግ አቅዳ እየሰራች ነው፤ አሁንም ለቡና ጥራትና ምርታማነት ብዙ ተግባራት እያናከወነች ነው፡፡ ግብይቱ ቀልጣፋና ውጤታማ እንዲሆንም እየሰራች ትገኛለች፡፡»

በጉባኤው እየተሳተፉ የሚገኙ የቡና ላኪዎችም ዘርፉ የበለጠ እንዲጠናከር በኃይል አቅርቦት፣ በመልቲ ሞዳል ትራንስፖርትና በጆንያ አቅርቦት በኩል ለሚስተዋሉ ችግሮች ትኩረት ሊሰጥ እንደሚገባ አሳስበዋል፡፡

”የኢትዮጵያን ቡናዎች መልካም ስም እናስቀጥል” በሚል ርዕስ የሚካሄደው ጉባኤ በቡና ምርት ጥራት፣ አለም አቀፍ የገበያ ሁኔታዎችና አእምሯዊ ንብረት ጉዳዮች ላይ በማተኮር ለሁለት ቀናት ይካሄዳል፡፡

ኢትዮጵያ በ2005 ከቡና የወጭ ንግድ ከ1 ነጥብ 1 ቢሊዬን ዶላር በላይ ገቢ ለማግኘት አቅዳ እየሰራችም ነው፡፡