Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 2/25/2014 07:57:00 AM
FOR THE MOST PART, I REMAIN RELATIVELY UNBIASED WHEN IT COMES TO PRODUCING COUNTRIES. YOU KNOW, IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE TERROIR, IT’S ABOUT UNDERSTANDING YOUR PRODUCT AND MARKET — WITH A LITTLE OLD FASHIONED HARD WORK THROWN IN TOO. MOST COFFEE FARMERS HAVE ALL THE POTENTIAL IN THE WORLD. YES, IT’S TRUE THAT SOME DO LIVE ON THE SUNNIER SIDE OF THE HILL, OR AT THE HIGHEST PEAK WHICH CAN PROVIDE SOME ADVANTAGE TO CUP QUALITY. HOWEVER FOR THE MOST PART, VARIETY, PROCESSING, SOIL NUTRIENTS AND SELECTIVE PICKING ARE THINGS YOU CAN HAVE SOME CONTROL OVER IN ORDER TO INCREASE THE QUALITY AND UNIQUENESS OF YOUR COFFEE. AFTER SPENDING THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS VISITING THE COFFEE GROWING COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD, I FINALLY MADE MY WAY TO ETHIOPIA, THE BIRTHPLACE OF COFFEE. ONLY TO DISCOVER THAT MOST OF THEIR SECRET LIES IN THE GIFTS MOTHER NATURE HAS PROVIDED FOR THEM.
There is something about a great Ethiopian coffee that I really appreciate. For the most part, I would consider them some of the best coffees in the world. There I’ve said it! I know it’s somewhat taboo to pin point a country as ‘the best’, but I’ve got to call it like it is. What is it specifically that makes the Ethiopian cup profile so amazing? I can narrow it down to a few things including their heightened sweetness and clarity of flavour. They’re complex and layered, distinct and recognisable. A great washed Yirgacheffe ticks all these boxes without question and can demand attention from across the room. They can be so sweet and distinct they remind me of dessert wines with delicate florals, honeys and stone fruit. Even thinking about now is getting me really excited. Many of us are aware that with the introduction of the ECX (Ethiopia Commodity Exchange) in recent years, exact traceability is difficult, while small exceptional lots can become homogenised and mixed into larger volumes. Regardless of this, Ethiopia still manages to produce something special which demonstrates quite easily what amazing stock they have to begin with.
The most memorable part of my drive into the highlands of the Guij and Sidama zones is the wild growth of the heirloom coffee trees and the incredibly fertile soils which even I could recognise as such. You had the sense that merely spitting out a couple of apple seeds would eventually lead to a thriving mini-orchard. The dark red earth just seemed ready to receive and things grew strong and healthy. It’s my belief that these heirloom varieties are the building blocks for this amazing coffee. Combined with the altitude and soils, this region really is a haven for coffee growing. So it doesn’t surprise me that the name Yirgacheffe is so famous, as this particular part of the world has some of the healthiest and most naturally fertile growing conditions I’ve ever seen.
The next time you have an Ethiopian coffee, really try to engage the senses. Smell it, breathe it in and savour its textures and flavours. You’ll find that there is something significantly different about these coffees.
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 2/25/2014 07:53:00 AM
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 2/25/2014 07:46:00 AM
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 2/25/2014 07:42:00 AM
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 2/25/2014 07:30:00 AM
የሲዳማ ተረቶች የተሰበሰቡት በየካቲት 1989 ዓ.ም. አዋሳ ላይ በተረደጉት ማሰባሰቦች ሲሆን ይህም የተሳካው በወቅቱ የክልሉ የትምህርት ቢሮ ሃላፊ በነበሩት በአቶ አክሊሉ እገዛ ነበር፡፡ ተረቶቹ ከአማርኛ ወደ እንግሊዝኛ የተተረጎሙት በብሪቲሽ ካውንስሉ ማይክል አምባቸው ነበር፡፡
የሲዳማ ቤት አዋሳ አካባቢ
ሁሉም ተረቶች የተተረኩት በአበበ ከበደ ነው፡፡ ከእነዚህ ተረቶች ጋር ተመሳሳይነት ያላቸው ታሪኮች በሌሎች የኢትዮጵያ ክልሎች የተተረኩ ቢሆንም በአቶ አበበ የተነገሩቱ በልዩ ሁኔታ የተተረኩ በመሆኑ የተራኪውን ድንቅ የተረት አነጋገር ጥበብ ያንጸባረቁ ነበሩ፡፡
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 2/25/2014 07:26:00 AM
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 2/25/2014 07:16:00 AM
|Weak negotiating capacity of exporters and poor product quality are identified by the Ministry for the low performance of the industry.|
The international market has continued to witness a sustained downward trend in the price of coffee, Ethiopia’s flagship export item, for nearly three years now. Figures from the International Coffee Organisation’s (ICO) composite price indicator show that there was a recorded 33pc drop in August 2013. Thus, a kilogramme of coffee was traded at 2.6 dollars, as opposed to the 3.6 dollars a year ago. A major reason why developing countries are unable to benefit from trade is their lack of capacity to produce and market, says an assessment conducted by the ICO in 2013.
This slump in prices has deeply affected coffee producers, as well as exporters in Ethiopia. For Mormora Coffee Growers & Exporters Association, one of the major exporters, the situation has been worrisome throughout the last six months of the 2013/14 fiscal year, with the price of coffee having dropped significantly when compared to the performance during the first half of last year, as well as this year’s targets. Over the past six months, Ethiopia exported 66,066tns of coffee for 222.6 million dollars – just 66.8pc of the 333.1 million dollars the government had hoped to generate from the planned export 85,186tns. According to the half-year report, the coffee trade has shrunk 28pc by volume and 38pc by value compared with the past year’s achievement.
Mormora grows coffee on a 200ha of land in the Guji Zone of the Oromia Region – one of the major coffee growing areas in the country. It failed to achieve its target because several foreign buyers cancelled their contracts, often after the coffee had already been transported to Addis Abeba. Two contracts have been cancelled over the past six months, says Hailesilassie Tadelle, Mormora’s general manager.
Hailesilassie recalls that for two of these contracts, the Company had produced large quantities of coffee and prepared it, confident of sales since the buyers were long-time customers.
“But it never worked, as one after the other refused to buy, eventually cancelling the contracts,” he recalls.
At the heart of the decision from these buyers, say Hailesilassie and other exporters approached by Fortune, is the decline in demand.
A representative of a coffee exporting company working in Yirgacheffe, a coffee growing Woreda located in the Gedeo Zone of the South Region (395 km from Addis Abeba), grumbled that she lost eight contracts. All of these were cancelled by potential buyers, who changed their minds, forcing the exporter to incur a loss.
“What has made the situation even more worrisome is that the input costs for the coffee farm is increasing,” she complained.
The other exporters attribute the problem to the decline in coffee price in the global market.
The Ministry of Trade’s (MoT) export data for the first half of the 2013/14 fiscal year revealed that Ethiopia had registered 1.3 billion dollars from exports, achieving only 65.5pc of the goal, largely because of the loss from coffee.
The weak negotiating capacity of exporters and poor product quality are identified by the Ministry as reasons for the poor performance of the sector.
“What the Ministry can do is to facilitate the export process by feeding exporters information about the market,” says Abdurahman Seid, deputy head of the Public Relations & Communications Office at the Ministry.
However, for some exporters it is the long chain to export that has hindered the overall profitability of the industry. This leads to the presence of various middlemen in the export process, pushing growers and exporters into deficit.
Eshetu Gule, an expert in coffee suggests that authorities need to work on the weak negotiating capacity of exporters and poor product quality. These two factors, he suggested, need to be resolved if the government’s plan to generate more revenue from coffee is to be achieved.
During the period under consideration, Ethiopia traded its coffee with differentials against the New York market. The prices for different varieties of coffee, which take up most of the space on the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) trading floor, have recently been generating frustration from exporters, who say it does not reflect international market conditions.
“We are price-takers,” said the coffee exporter from Yirgacheffe. “But the price decrease discrepancy is causing us to sell less.”
Ethiopian authorities see an increased volume as a way of compensating for the slowdown of the market following the global economic crisis.
“The fall in price, however, will be compensated by increasing the volume of exports and creating market linkages with a few selected countries,” says Abdurahman from the MoT. “Trade links have also been strengthened to address coffee export in Asian countries, like Japan, South Korea and China.”
The fall in export revenues has also affected other agricultural exports, such as flowers, oil seeds, pulses and khat, although the latter two did perform better than the rest. The flower sector – which grew fast, overtaking all other African exporters except Kenya – has felt the decline, but it has been explained as seasonal, with the months until May promising more revenue from more exports.
Power cuts, logistics and a shortage of land are among the problems flower growers mention. They hope to get more land and boost production during the second half of the year, according to Tewodros Zewde, executive director of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers & Exports Association.
The export experience of other items has been relatively better. Oil seeds, pulses and khat have registered 76pc, 84pc and 92.6pc performance, respectively, with exports totaling 208.8 million, 107 million and 150 million dollars.
Gold has been affected with a fall of 40pc, while the still small manufacturing sector has achieved close to a 10 million dollar gain over the previous year, with a total of nearly 67 million dollars – falling short of the 111.8 million dollar target.
“Greater concentration on a few traditional exports, such as coffee, must quickly end,” Abdurahman said.
The fix includes exporting more sesame. The government also wants to export more coffee despite the fall in prices in the international market, he says.
BY BINYAM ALEMAYEHU
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER
PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 23, 2014 [ VOL 14, NO 721]
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 2/25/2014 07:14:00 AM
There is little dispute over the major economic achievements of the ruling Developmental Democrats, whose latest dissociation from the prefix ‘revolutionary’ has created a wildfire of speculation and analyses within the politically active population of the nation. Their commitment in transforming the nation’s economy from its war-torn state to stability is well recorded within all the available public records. International institutions continue to provide them with recognition, having reduced the volatility of the economy by virtue of strengthening its fundamentals.
Macroeconomic analyses released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 2003/04, for instance, acclaim the state under the Developmentalists for the sound public finance management. A sound and resilient public finance management has played its part in the fast economic growth the country has witnessed under the Developmental Democrats.
Of course, this does not mean that international institutions, be it the IMF or others, would agree on their expansionary fiscal policy. There remains a continuous dispute over the policy priorities of the government and their negative externalities, from hyperinflation to exchange rate depreciation. Whereas the international institutions maintain that restraint in fiscal policy is important in sustaining economic growth and stabilising prices, not to mention avoiding economic overheating, the Developmenalists have been steadfast in standing for an ever-increasing fiscal pie that feeds both their economic and political interests.
Unlike the relative consensus on the economic achievements of the EPRDFites in the past, the dispute over the social and political progress of the nation remains chaotic. No line of consensus seems to exist between the ruling Developmentalists and their fierce critics.
This is especially true when it comes to the issue of justice. In what could be described as a turbulent ocean of debate, the issue of justice has always been a very sensitive aspect driving both sides of the aisle to the edges of emotion. These are also times that the institutionalism of the Developmentalists and the idealism of their opponents come to the fore.
Sticking to their institutional argument, the EPRDFites often argue that their administration has brought justice all the more closer to the people. Decentralisation of judicial institutions is the ethos that has brought about brighter days over the past two decades, they argue. As a result, they state, the sectoral realities have transformed in a way that has never been seen before.
A clear delineation of responsibility between the various tiers of the judicial system, a reduction in lag time of accessing justice, the establishment of structures to serve peculiar cases and progressive modernisation of the legal instruments of the nation are just some of the lines they mention whenever they describe their achievements. Of course, their argument has never been absolutist in that they accept there is a lot that needs to be done.
For their critics, however, there is nothing that describes the fragility of the system the Developmentalists are attempting to build more clearly than the justice system. Justice is still a pipedream in the country, for the institutional and operational functions of the judicial system remain very poor, they argue. This is because the judicial system is deprived of the essential characters necessary to make it a strong pole within the power matrix. Instead, it is left to be subservient to a rather powerful and invincible executive.
For a keen observer, however, the reality lies somewhere in between. Whereas it is true that access to justice has seen improvements, with the progressive decentralisation policy of the Developmental Democrats, the operations of the judicial system continue to be stained with problems.
The good part of the story is that the ruling EPRDFites seem to have a proper grasp of the gap between what is expected from the judicial system, as declared in the Constitution, and what it is living for. This is exactly why they initiated a new governance reform program for the sector.
Muktar Kedir, the reform Cesar, has recently said that the new initiative could mainstream the sense of service within the staff of the system. In ordering his regional counterparts to be committed to the reform agenda, Muktar noted that it is now time to correct the ills of the system, so that justice could be served to citizens.
Of course, the agenda of reform is not new to the system. The Justice Sector Reform Program (JSRP) – one of the pillars of the Plan for Accelerated & Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP), the predecessor of the Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP) – has been implemented since 2005. If one is to go by the governmental records, therefore, this has resulted in a sharp increase in graduates of law, better staffing of local level judicial bodies, enhanced automation of operations and better integration between the varying parts of the system. A resultant outcome of these improvements has been a reduced lag time in accessing justice and a betterment of its quality.
There has always been an essential bias in all the attempts to improve the system, however. And this bias involves the little attention provided to the independence of the system and the quality of it service.
A rational analysis of power politics in the nation, under the leadership of the Developmental Democrats, would illustrate that power is hugely skewed towards the executive. An executive that continues to gain weight with each day is seen reducing the space for the other two poles of power – the legislative and the judiciary.
As much as the legislative is seen translating the intents of the executive into laws, the judiciary, by and large, is seen living under the shadows of the overweight executive. Regardless of some individual cases, therefore, effective check and balance in the system is a way off.
It seems that this dynamic is consuming the energy of reforms, so that they are not able to bring any considerable change in the quality of the service the justice system provides to citizens. It is not just a few times that the integrity of the system has been placed under question for operating below expectations.
Individuals, businesses and institutions are seen complaining about the extent of lag and the unfairness the system entertains. Certainly, the system is reducing itself as a breeding ground of incompetence, patrimony and political loyalty. Vibrancy has become a rare trait within it.
Global evidence, however, shows that an effective and competent justice system could not be created unless it remains independent. Reforms meant to bring the system up to constitutional standards, therefore, ought to give due attention to the essential traits of the system that would enable it to serve the people fairly.
Taking the justice system out of the shadows of power politics and allowing it to sail through the paths of competence ought to be the focus of the reforms that Muktar is stirring. It is only then that the reforms could be able to create a system that would underpin the economic ambitions of the nation.
PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 23, 2014 [ VOL 14 ,NO 721]
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 2/25/2014 07:11:00 AM
|comparative six-month performance of export items,2012/13 and 2013/14 fiscal years, in revenue|