The village of Hangadhi is located a few kilometres from the town of Shakisso, in the Guji area. The Guji Highland Coffee Plantation has set up a drying station there with about 40 African beds. The coffee dried in Hangadhi is collected from thirty or so farmers who work the surrounding plots. They are small family farms covering just a few hectares on average, worked exclusively by hand by farmers possessing ancient know-how. The coffee here is grown in orchards using polyculture farming systems that mix bean, cabbage and enset. This last plant, also called the “false banana” on account of its shape, holds an important place in the region’s agricultural system because its root is used in the staple diet of local populations. Combining coffee farming with food crops works particularly well, thanks in part to the region’s rich, moist soils which produce cherries of a particularly high quality.
Our Belco teams are especially interested in helping to improve this quality. Our agronomist, Marjorie, has journeyed to Hangadhi to provide advanced training for the members of the Guji Highland Coffee Plantation and local producers. She has notably helped them improve their drying beds, by drawing attention to the importance of flat surfaces and good ventilation. When the quality of the wood allows it, thebeds are dismantled and reassembled each yearto avoid excessive consumption of this resource. Marjorie has also helped them perfect ways of controlling the humidity level to ensure the coffee is always of a superior quality.
The Guji Highland Coffee Plantation has recently acquired 45 hectares of coffee plantations in Hangadhi. Here, too, the company is raising its quality requirements while maintaining agricultural practices that respect the biodiversity. Belco is helping them with this new initiative and shares the company’s long-term objective, which is to produce a more sustainable coffee.
Forest coffee | Organic Coffee | Biodiversity | Preserved forest | Socially-committed producer | Exporting producer
The Guji Highland Coffee Plantation is a family business managed by Wadessa Yachisa. Originally from Shakisso, Wadessa has been involved in coffee production for many years. In 1995, at the age of 17, Wadessa was forced to leave secondary school to join the army and complete his military service. On his return in the late 1990s, the political situation was such that he could not resume his studies. The young man found himself unable to continue his education, despite wanting to do so. Driven by a strong ambition, he managed to bounce back and quickly turned his hand to other projects. He began by working in one of the gold mines in the Guji area. He then decided to invest his savings in coffee, considered a promising regional industry. In 1999 he created a first company with friends, which he headed for several years. Then, in 2010, he journeyed to the Guji appellation in Dambi Uddo. He went there for a religious ceremony, but on meeting and talking with local farmers decided to invest in its beautiful coffee forest. In 2012, Wadessa Yachisa created a new company, Guji Highland Coffee Plantation PLC, with other members of his family. They now have 150 hectares of land devoted to coffee production. They also work with local farmerswho supply them with cherries. They have several drying stations and have recently set up a washing station in Dambi Uddo, allowing them to offer a fully-washed coffee.
Today it has become a large company with offices in Addis Ababa and Shakisso. As manager, Wadessa Yachisa is driven by a passion to produce high-quality coffee using production methods capable of protecting the environment. He is also a politically committed man, actively involved in helping his country to progress.