Mustefa Abakeno is a smallholder farmer who owns 18 hectares of land near to Agaro in the Jimma area of Western Ethiopia. The farm and wet mill is located 2040masl and is planted with various variety selections from the Jimma research centre. Mustefa has a small disk pulper, which he uses for half of his coffee, the other half is dried as a natural. Due to a lack of water in the area and limited space to ferment the coffee, Mustefa ferments the coffee for a short period of time before he moves it to his drying beds, and the result is something like a light honey process. Mustefa has recently registered as an exporter in order to start selling his coffee directly to buyers, which he is now able to do since the changes to regulation in Ethiopia. He has set up a small wet mill where he processes his farm’s and outgrowers’ coffee, which he keeps separate and dries on raised beds near his house. Mustefa’s outgrowers are all neighbours and have between 4 and 10 hectares of land each. He is processing both natural and washed coffee and all of it is dried semi-shaded. We anticipate that Mustefa will have around 600 bags available this year, half washed and half natural.
With the support of the team we have in Addis we are able to work directly with small producers such as Mustefa. We see a huge opportunity to drive quality uplift through direct relationships like this one, as we are able to work with Mustefa and his outgrowers on cherry selection, drying and farm management, covering all aspects of quality best practises. By working directly we are also able to make the supply chain much more efficient and maximise the amount of money that goes back to the producers.