Before he started work with Farm Africa, Getachew used traditional methods of farming, passed down from his father, and sold his own coffee in small quantities so that it could be consumed locally. He didn't know that coffee was a valuable export - to him, it was a local drink, shared amongst friends and neighbours in the community.
But Farm Africa started work with Getachew around six years ago. To reach the maximum number of farmers, Farm Africa runs training sessions for community representatives, so that those representatives can then share new techniques with their fellow farmers and knowledge can spread. Getachew was nominated as the 'model farmer' from his community, and started to learn about new, more effective methods of harvesting his coffee beans.
Getachew never used to weed the land where his coffee grew, and would pick beans off the ground if they had already fallen. Now, he carefully cultivates his coffee crop, and only picks ripe red berries from the trees, so that he can produce high quality coffee which will fetch a better price.
What’s more, Getachew now has a warehouse where he can store his coffee beans, helping them to dry out properly and avoiding the damp conditions that can cause whole harvests to spoil.
Getachew has seen a real change in his fortunes since he started working with Farm Africa:
“There is a great difference in my life now. I have significantly changed the way I handle my harvest and maintain coffee quality. I now know how to process it, and with the training I have received I’ve seen a change in my income. This could be translated into education, health and clothing for my family. I can now buy my children books and stationery for school. There will be better and better futures from now on.”
You can help to transform the lives of farmers like Getachew by making a donation to our #CoffeeIsLife project today. A gift of just £38 could buy a farmer the wire mesh they need to construct a coffee drying bed, helping their beans to dry out properly and avoid the fungal diseases caused by damp.