January 12, 2016
Getachew Melaku (Getty) PR officer, JICA Ethiopia Office
The annual coffee testing event took place in Jimma zone Gera and Shabe woredas of Oromia Regional State on January 11 and 12, 2016.
The annual event that mainly aspires in promoting the production of quality coffee for premium market has been good source of experience sharing between farmers and agriculture extension workers.
The certified Forest Coffee production and promotion project (CFCPPP) of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is aimed at facilitating the improvement in Certified Forest Coffee Production for forest protection in Jimma zone. The project that acknowledges that Keffa is the origin of Ethiopian Arabica Coffee also sees that the farmers are not rewarded for their effort. Although there are several other reasons the lack of skills in proper management of coffee is among the outstanding issues.
In an effort towards addressing this issue the CFCPPP has been under implementation in Jimma zone by JICA for the last two years. The project is an extension of another effort that has contributed towards the preservation of the natural forest in the localities called Participatory Forest Management Project. This project was successful in engaging farmers groups in the efforts towards protecting natural forest through using the forest coffee in commendable ways.
The coffee testing ceremony held at the break of the Gregorian new year is an annual activity that tries to grade the coffee produced by farmers of different localities in the two woredas. This helps in the process of exporting the coffee and learning on what to do for future production quality.
The Japanese professionals who were engaged in the coffee testing came from the well-known Japanese coffee processing company called Ueshima Coffee Corporation (UCC). The team of coffee testing experts from UCC that include Mr. Naomi Nakahira are well experienced in this aspect.