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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Theme “Ethiopia the Root of Coffee and Much More”
The Concept
Ethiopia possesses great diversity in its biological resources, including coffee (Coffee Arabica L.) one of Ethiopia’s most notable gifts to the world. A number of sources indicate that the term “Coffee” was derived from Kaffa, a region in the south-western part of the Country. Coffee is the driving force of Ethiopia’s economy, ecology, socio-cultural and spiritual life, and accounts for more than 25% of national GDP. The chosen theme for Ethiopia’s participation at Expo Milano 2015“Ethiopia the Root of Coffee and Much More” reflects the importance of this economic and cultural resource.
Ethiopia produces a number of coffee types including the SidamaYergachefe and Harar varieties. Identified by their distinct characteristic, flavor, aroma and taste, they are commonly used for blending with coffees of other origins. Coffee plays a pivotal role in the Ethiopian culture of hospitality, and the rituals of the coffee ceremony, including its roasting, grounding and brewing are central to Ethiopian lifestyle. Inviting guests for coffee is considered as a God-sent opportunity to do well.
The Ethiopian Pavilion provides visitors with a chance to enjoy a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony and sample the locally grown varieties.
There will be also opportunities for business-to-business meetings with coffee producers, farmers unions and exporters. DuringEthiopian Week there will be cultural performances while Farmers Week will feature coffee producing cooperative unions presenting the story of Ethiopian coffee and discussing the existing situation and sustainability of Ethiopian coffee in the world market.
Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase traditional and fresh Ethiopian food and beverages including traditionally prepared coffee, and beverages such as Tajj (made of Honey) and Tela barley beer.


Enset is an essential plant for the Ethiopian Sidama system of agropastoralism. Sidama agropastoralism and the folk taxonomy of enset is presented here in ethnographic context. One of several societies of Ethiopia’s enset complex, the highland Sidama are among the most wholly reliant on enset and maintain more enset varieties in their gardens than other groups. Sidama agro-pastoral systems revolve around human-enset-cattle interaction: Sidama eat low-protein parts of enset; cattle eat high-protein parts of enset; Sidama get protein from dairy; Sidama fertilize enset with cattle manure. In the Sidama language, enset offers an example of Hunn’s generic elevation within the framework of Berlinian perceptual-taxonomic theory. Weesho (enset) may serve both as a folk generic taxon and a life-form taxon depending on the frame of reference. Such expansion allows for an intermediate taxa translating to “male” or “female” ensets, followed by generic and specific taxa for kinds or “breeds” of enset. Generic elevation offers descriptive magnification of nomenclature for enset, a most salient species among Sidama people.

Full Text

Smallholder coffee producers working with the IFAD-funded Agricultural Marketing Improvement Programme (AMIP) are proud of having helped to transform the Ethiopian coffee value chain, making it inclusive and efficient. In less than seven years, the programme has established eight coffee "liquoring" or tasting centres, the first of their kind in rural areas, and provided the necessary equipment and training to Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) staff. Thanks to these interventions, today the coffee tasting centres offer internationally recognized coffee grading and trading services.
In collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia, the ECX provides cooperatives with continuous feedback on the quality and grade of their coffee. This has enabled smallholder producers to improve processes along the entire coffee value chain, including the picking, washing and drying of coffee beans. In this way they have improved the quality and value of the coffee beans that they harvest.
The value chain is now more efficient as smallholder farmers have easy access to coffee grading, storage and transport services provided by the ECX. Previously, traders and cooperatives had to transport the coffee to Addis Ababa because there were no coffee grading centres elsewhere. An established digitized system, run by the ECX, facilitates the sale of coffee at auction on the international markets. This major breakthrough allows traders and cooperatives to receive immediate payment for their produce. 
Meet smallholder producers in Dilla, Southern Ethiopia in this photo essay and follow the transformation of coffee beans along the value chain. 

Ethiopia’s famous Onion-shaped bamboo houses of the Sidama people in southern Ethiopia are just one example of effective but traditional construction with bamboo, one that has been used for centuries, and one that is becoming increasingly popular as lodges for tourists. In many countries, bamboo has been used for housing for millenia, albeit not always as attractive and cosy as the Sidama houses.
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In recent years, bamboo housing has developed in leaps and bounds – the use of prefabricated bamboo boards has been tested for houses in India and China amongst others, and modern laminated blocks of bamboo wood that can be shaped as can timber are also increasingly used. But it’s the round-pole bamboo houses that impress, with their natural round shape and slight variation, and natural “organic”, warm colours that offer a relaxing homely place to stay.
But there are problems. To build a house, a constructor needs to adhere to the country’s building codes – which define the parameters for the procedures and qualities of the materials used, and how they are used, to ensure the house is of sufficient quality, and is safe. Without these, in many countries insurance cannot be obtained, and in some, such structures may be illegal.
Read more at: www.inbar.int