The Sidama project aims at regenerating and preserving forestry ecosystems of the Ethiopian region of SNNP (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples) by planting trees around and inside coffee plots (agroforestry). Trees provide food (fruit trees), fuelwood, environmental benefits, while increasing coffee yields and quality.
The project takes place in Wonsho Woreda, in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region of Ethiopia, which remains one of the most deforested area of the country. The region is highly threatened by unsustainable agricultural practices, illegal timber logging and sales, and use of firewood. Most of the farmers rely on coffee production for their living, but live below the poverty line.
The project area is located in a hilly region between the Ethiopian Central Plateau and Southern Lowlands. Coffee is mostly grown in full-sun on steep hills, what generates severe erosion and landslides. Little densification of coffee plots added to poor agricultural management practices lead to low coffee yields and income. Furthermore, effects of climate change are already noticeable (heavy droughts, irregular rains), thus all the more impacting coffee yields and quality.
Moreover, as timber has been identified as efficient source of revenue and is widely used for construction or fuelwood, it is a high priority to teach local population how to produce sustainable and diversified timber.
Planting trees in and around coffee fields will help to increase resilience to climate change, preserve water resources and soils, reduce erosion, and therefore ensure optimal growing conditions. Agroforestry trees will provide food for the community (fruit trees), fuelwood, environmental benefits (carbon sequestration, increase in soil quality and water hold capacity) while increasing coffee yields and quality, and ensuring its long-term availability.
In 2016, additional activities were developed with coffee farmers in order to increase food security, improve coffee production and health. Vegetable gardens were implemented on farmers’ lands, farmers received trainings on coffee management as well as coffee seedlings to densify their plot, and an improved cookstoves pilot was launched with the support of French NGO GERES.
The Bokasso cooperative is part of the Sidama Union of coffee producers. The cooperative members are small-scale farmers with an average surface area of one ha, and are organic and FLO certified.
LocationSouthern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region, Ethiopia
Agroforestry and reforestation
Local partnerBokasso cooperative
Participants1,050 Small-scale coffee farmers
Achievements225,787 trees planted
supply chainCoffee , Fruits and Vegetables
The Bokasso cooperative is part of the Sidamo Union of coffee producers. It was officially registered with the government in 1977. The cooperative members are organic and FLO certified. The Sidamo Union has helped to guaranty access to global coffee market for the Bokasso cooperative members.
The members of Bokasso are small-scale farmers with an average surface area of one ha. Today, there are 1813 members located in 4 “Kebeles” (Unions of communities within Bokasso area). The total cooperative’s coffee farms are 2500 Hectares . All these coffee farms are owned by the farmers. They are very poor families below the poverty line, living mainly on revenues of coffee production, and under food sovereignty level for most of them. There is a strong need to support the progressive integration of women.