In an attempt to find a farmers we could start working more closely with in Ethiopia, we went on a trip in December 2018 to visit a handfull of farms in the western part of the country. Out of those visits we ended up buying from three different farms where Echemo is the smallest one of them.
Echemo is a 35 hectare coffee farm located at 2100 masl in Goma, Jimma , close to the town Agaro. It is owned and farmed by Khalid Shifa who inherited his farm from his Grandfather.
Khalid is mainly growing old cultivars that was planted by his grandfather many years ago. When establishing the farm, Khalid’s grandfather selected seeds from wild coffee trees from the the nearby Coche forest and the trees he planted are still producing well today. Most of the old trees are so tall that you are literally walking underneath a canopy of coffee trees on the farm. Workers even have to climb the coffee trees in order to harvest the cherries.
Khalid recently built a new wet mill on his farm. He is now able to produce washed coffees whereas before we were only able to buy natural- and honey processed coffees from him.
He also produces delicious honey on the farm with traditional bee hives that are placed high up in the canopy of the native trees on the farm. Khalid is also planting new native trees in order to re-build the forest which used to be on his farm. The goal is to grow his coffee inside the forest so that the coffee trees will be shaded from the sun by natural shade and to preserve the land for future generations.