This project aims to assist one of our key producers in Ethiopia, Mustefa Abakeno, to raise the quality of his coffees produced at the 2 washing stations he owns and manages.
Origin(s): Agaro, Djimmma Ethiopia
Timeline: Commenced beginning of harvest 2020-21
Partner orgs: Falcon Ethiopia with Mustefa Abakeno
Budget: $2850 per year
• Out grower group increased to 36 members, 29 male and 7 female, in 5 locations – Bedeyi, Echimo, Jarso, Kebira and Sedi.
• A dedicated warehouse constructed in the town of Aggaro.
This project aims to assist one of our key producers in Ethiopia, Mustefa Abakeno, to raise the quality of his coffees produced at the two washing stations he owns and manages. Mustefa, 49 and a father of 8 children, is a smallholder farmer with 18 hectares of growing area in Beshasha Kebele, a small village in the Djimma zone of Oromia. Mustefa was a key person in founding Hundaoli PC and Katamuduga Union established in that area. We have seen that Mustefa’s coffee holds great potential, exhibiting high-quality cup scores at the pre-shipment stages but that the quality tended to degrade following export. With the help of our field agronomist, Harun, we have identified the critical points in both pre and post-harvest stages that will lift the overall cupping quality, especially focussing on how to retain quality after export.
Harun supports Mustefa’s production overseeing the implementation of improvements at the washing stations. This includes focusing on drying bed management, the storage conditions of the parchment, cherry selection, and the process that informs how coffee is sorted at the farm gate. One key implementation has been the purchasing and construction of shade netting to cover and protect parchment during the hottest parts of the day to promote slower and more even drying. Harun had also noticed that parchment had been picked from drying beds and stored without moisture content being managed. Lots are now tagged when they reach the drying beds and moisture content regularly logged, only being moved to storage when the reach the acceptable range. This point will greatly improve the resilience of the coffee’s quality. At the post-harvest stage, Harun has been paying regular visits to farmers firstly to evaluate the health of their plants and offering advice on good agronomic practice including how to carry out selective pruning.
Since implementing these improvements in 2021 we are already seeing an improvement in the quality of Mustefa’s coffee for the 2022 season. As a result of enhanced attention during the post-harvest stages we have found the coffees are no longer showing signs of early ageing and have gained a great deal in clarity of flavour and mouthfeel. Harun’s work with Mustefa continues as we aim to reach a consistent level of high quality, in turn, providing improved pricing, and working to strengthen Mustefa’s reputation as a producer of some of the best specialty coffee in Ethiopia.
He is continuing to expand his out-grower membership, numbering 36 partner farmers at the end of 2022. Harun provides technical support and training in best agronomy practices, post-harvest processing and traceability handling from washing station through to dry milling.