Journal of
Plant Breeding and Crop Science

  • Abbreviation: J. Plant Breed. Crop Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9758
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPBCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 447

Article in Press

Exploitation of Ethiopian Coffee Land-race Potentials: Market Demand Oriented Specialty Variety Development

Desalegn Alemayehu Kidane, Sintayehu Girma, Leta Ajema, Asfaw Adugna,Gabisa Giddisa,Dawit, Mohammedsani Zakir Merga, Kalifa Nasiro,Abrar Sualeh, Tadesse Benti, Fekadu Tefera,Ashenafi Ayano,Lemi Beksisa,Melaku Addisu

  •  Received: 24 January 2024
  •  Accepted: 21 March 2024
Coffee (Coffea arabica L.) is the major cash crop of Ethiopia. The country is ecologically very diverse which allows the coffee plant to grow under wide range of environments between altitudes of 550 to 2600 m. a.s.l. Ethiopia, being the place of origin for Arabica coffee, is endowed with genetic pool wealth of the crop and with enabling environmental conditions to sustainably produce and supply fine specialty coffee that can address emerging international market demand. The prevailing wide range of ecological condition in the country has have allowed the production of coffees of different types that are with uniquely distinctive quality profile, resistance to major diseases, plant growth and yield potential among many other desirable traits. Of the coffees produced in Ethiopia, the most popular internationally branded types (named depending on area of production) are; Sidama, Yirga-cheffe, Limmu, Gimbi and Harerghe coffees. These specific coffee localities, despite their valuable potential and the recognition they deserved on the world market, were lacking their own improved local varieties where they had been using coffee varieties released for other areas (south-western region) until the 2010. However, most of southwest varieties showed multitude of constraints such as poor adaptation and inherent quality adulteration under the locations. Cognizant of this problem, local land race variety development program was designed and implemented to promote sustainable production of the distinct coffee types by origin maintaining inherent qualities of the specific localities for enhanced export market expansion. Through this breeding approach so far, outstanding achievements were recorded in germplasm collection, evaluation for desirable agronomical traits, generation of basic information on the genetics aspects, and development and release of 12speciality varieties suiting for the specific coffee landraces in Ethiopia, i.e., 4 Harerghe, 4 Wollega/Gimbi, 3 Sidama/Yirgachefe and 1Limu coffees. As the main focus areas of future Arabica coffee landrace improvement program, it would be vital to give due attention to further identification of new and distinctive landraces, extensive collection of coffee genetic resource from unaddressed localities, application of molecular breeding techniques such as marker assisted selection and breeding for major /emerging/ diseases and stress tolerance, among others.

Keywords: Coffea arabica L, genetic diversity, local landrace, specialty coffee