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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What Three Products are Important to Africa

What Three Products are Important to Africa
From coffee, cocoa, to cotton, Africa is important to the world. In this article discover the importance of these three products.

From coffee, cocoa, to cotton, Africa is important to the world.


The importance of Coffee, Cocoa, and Cotton to the African economy.



Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Most of Africa's production of food is grown for local consumption however, unroasted coffee is Africa’s leading unmined product, cocoa beans are second and cotton lint is third.


 

Unroasted Coffee


Coffee is a berry classified as a fruit
Coffee is a berry classified as a fruit
Ethiopia is the world’s fifth-largest coffee producer and Africa’s top producer. Coffee is Ethiopia's principal source of income and the worlds demand for quality coffee is increasing steadily. 

More than 15 million people grow the crop for a living, hundreds of thousands of middlemen are involved in the collection of the crop from farmers and supply to the export and domestic market. 

A sizable amount of foreign exchange, accounting up to 30% of the total yearly export income, is derived from coffee. In Ethiopia, coffee can still be found growing wild in the forests. Ethiopia is where the coffee plants Coffea Arabica, Canephora and Liberica originates. Three foremost regions where Ethiopian coffee beans originate are Harrar, Ghimbi, and Sidamo also known as Yirgacheffe.

Africa particularly the Ethiopian Rift Valley is famous across the world for growing producing the best coffee in the world, primarily due to its superior growing conditions. There are two distinct processing methods for coffee, dry and wet. 

The dry method is used in which the coffee beans are dried whole without pulping. The beans are spread evenly over the drying area and turned over periodically. The use of mechanical dryers is becoming increasingly popular. The beans can be placed in the dryer right after washing. 

Overheating ruins the quality of the coffee. Coffee is processed only to the parchment-coffee stage on most small Ethiopian coffee farms and plantations. The parchment coffee is then sold to a larger plantation or to a miller who mills the coffee. Large farms frequently do all their processing, including roasting. 

Coffee is frequently polished to remove all the silver skin and give the coffee a more attractive, smooth, shiny appearance. The wet method involves the removal of the pulp, fermentation of the thick, gluey material covering the parchment skin, rinsing, and then drying. 

Most countries producing mild coffee use the wet method. All exported coffee, washed and sun-dried, goes up for sale through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange. Fair Trade coffee and many other products help with the sustainable development of Africa by offering better trading conditions and securing the rights of farmers and workers around the world.


Cocoa Beans


The Cacao tree is the source of cocoa beans, chocolate and so much more. The cacao tree grows wild in the forests of tropical regions but is also one of the tender trees of tropical growth. 
Ripe cocoa pod and beans
Ripe cocoa pod and beans

Africa produces well over 65% of the world’s cocoa beans. Many African countries now grow cocoa trees, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Congo but the main producers are Ghana, Nigeria, and Cote d'Ivoire. 

There are three broad types of cocoa forastero and crillo plus trinitario. Forastero is the major portion of all cocoa grown, amelonado is a forastero variety most widely grown in West Africa and other regions. The peak time for harvesting Cocoa trees is between September and December in West Africa. 

Cocoa has always grown in many parts of the African tropics. The cacao-tree grows wild in the forests of tropical regions growing well in humid tropical climates with regular rains and a short dry season.


Cotton Lint


Cotton accounts for US $3.3 billion, the majority of Benin's revenue. The economy of Benin is dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. 
Raw Cotton
Raw Cotton

The top export is cotton around 40% of $8.3 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or $3.3 billion, corn, manioc, tapioca, yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, cashews, and livestock round-out the remaining exports. 

The number of cotton growers is around 235,500. After a difficult period, production is now once again getting underway, but with output likely to be below Benin’s glory days as King of Cotton. Planting is in the months from May to June, and harvesting is between October and December. Benin’s major export partners are China 25%, India 23.5%, Lebanon 18.7%, Niger 4.3%, and Nigeria 4%. 

Benin includes four differentiated cotton-growing areas, Northern zone in Alibori and Atacora, North-central zone in Borgou and Donga, Central zone in Zou and Collines and Southern zone in Ouémé, Plateau, Couffo and Mono.

Africa’s top 20 most important Agriculture Products


Africa’s top 20 most important Agriculture Products are in order, Livestock, Maize, Cassava, Cotton, Coffee, Rice, Peanuts, Bananas, Sorghum, Fish, Sugarcane, Cocoa, Millet, Non-root Vegetables, Beans, Palm Kernels and Oil, Timber, Wheat, Sweet Potatoes, and Tea Leaves.


Agriculture Products
Number of African countries dependence
Livestock
41
Corn (Maize)
35
Cassava
28
Cotton
27
Coffee
25
23
Peanuts
21
Bananas
20
Sorghum
19
Fish
17
Sugarcane
16
Cocoa
15
Millet
15
Non-root Vegetables
15
Beans
13
Palm Kernels and Oil
13
Timber
12
Wheat
11
10
Tea Leaves
10


Getting to Know Africa

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Top 20 Largest Countries in Africa
How many countries does Africa have?

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