Cultivation And Harvesting, History
The coffee tree, genus Coffea, family Rubiaceae (Madder family), is native to Ethiopia. The name coffee also refers to the fruit (beans) of the tree and to the beverage brewed from the beans. Coffee is one of the world's most valuable agricultural crops.
There are about 30 species of Coffea, but only two species provide most of the world market for coffee. Coffea arabica is indigenous to Ethiopia and was the first cultivated species of coffee tree. C. arabica provides 75% of the world's supply of coffee. Coffea robusta, also known as Coffea canephora, was first discovered growing wild in what is now Zaire. This species was not domesticated and cultivated until the turn of the twentieth century, and now supplies about 23% of the world's coffee. Coffea liberica is also an important source of coffee beans, but is mostly consumed locally and does not enter the world market in great quantity. C. robusta and C. liberica were developed because of their resistance to insects and diseases.
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