Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia -Doha
The Ethiopian economy is predominantly agricultural and the production in such sector constitutes a major part of the countries economy, contributing about 45 per cent for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and about 62 per cent for total exports. It accounts for 85 per cent of total employment. Coffee, a major cash crop, is of high quality and contributes about 62 per cent of total agricultural exports. So, it is a major source of foreign-currency earnings. Manufacturing, mining, trade, tourism, construction, services, etc., which make up the remaining 55 per cent of GDP, supplement agriculture. Industry contributes only 11 per cent to GDP and 16 per cent to the total exports.
Agriculture is predominantly in the hands of small farmers working on individual small holdings mainly for household consumption. So, the sector has remained fragmented and inefficient. This is a vivid indication that Ethiopia’s agriculture is characterized by its low level of mechanization and makes the sector receptive to technological adaptation and attractive to investment, both foreign and domestic.
Varities of crops are grown in different parts of the country seasonally. The main crops are cereals (teff, barely, maize, wheat, sorghum, and millet), pulses (horse beans, vetch and lentils) and oil seeds (niger seed, flax, rape seed, sesame, castor beans and soya beans). The main cash and industrial crops are coffee, oil seeds, pulses, cotton, sisal, tobacco, fruits and sugar cane As aforementioned, 10.9 per cent of the GDP comes from the industrial sector supplying important consumer goods to the domestic market. The major manufactured export products include clothing and apparel, canned and frozen meat, semi-processed hides and skins, sugar and molasses, footwear, tobacco, beverages, oil cakes and bees wax.
Although less than 3 per cent of the GDP currently comes from the mining sector, there are proven reserves of minerals such as gold, platinum, tantalum, nickel iron-ore, coal, marble, potash, copper, silica, limestone, diatomite, etc., as well as oil and natural gas, awaiting exploitation and making the country a destination for business and investment to both foreign and domestic investors.