Establishment of red cherry coffee drying site


Written by Olika Urgessa, cooperative advisor Ethiopia

Man’issa multipurpose primary cooperative with limited liability was established in 2001 with an initial membership of 48 males and 2 females for a total of 50 members. Currently, cooperative membership has grown to 127 males and 9 females, totalling 136. The cooperative is located in the southern Ethiopian region. Most of the land is used for growing coffee, the production of different crops and the rearing of animals.

The primary cooperative is governed by a seven-member board, elected by the general assembly of the cooperative. Currently, the cooperative has one permanent staff member (a security guard) and more than 30 temporary workers during the collection, bulking and drying process of red cherry coffee.   

Realisation of members’ investment ambition

Within six months, the primary cooperative established a red cherry coffee drying site on one hectare of land with the technical and financial support of Agriterra. Agriterra started working with Man’issa multipurpose cooperative in 2023, after identifying the cooperative was suffering from the absence of a red cherry drying site. This limited the performance of the primary cooperative with regard to collecting produce of members and red cherry coffee, thus generating less income for the cooperative. 
Immediately after the cooperative assessment, the Agriterra cooperative advisor and the board members discussed the importance of accessing land for the establishment of a red cherry coffee drying site. To realise this, Agriterra supported the primary cooperative in obtaining a land certificate for 9912 m2 through communication with the stakeholders. In addition to obtaining a land certificate, the Agriterra cooperative advisor talked to the board members and members of the cooperative about the process of realising the ambition of the cooperative. Finally, it was agreed upon that the levelling of a red cherry coffee drying site and the construction of a fence was to be realised through internal capitalisation and financial support from Agriterra.  
Closely followed by the cooperative advisor, the cooperative members initiated the purchase of additional shares from the cooperative to be used for the planned activity according to the action plan. The Agriterra team played an important role in convincing the government to grant land access for the cooperative. The Agriterra cooperative advisors used the cooperative societies proclamation 985/2016, article 43. This proclamation clearly states that without prejudice to incentives permitted under investment laws and other laws, any cooperative society which is organised and registered in accordance with this proclamation shall be entitled to obtain land from the region because of allocation to conduct their activity or to provide their service. 
As a result of hard work, the cooperative finally received a land certificate from the government and started to realise its ambition by levelling and fencing off their red cherry coffee drying site. The site is close to the coffee collection point with easy road access. Because of the investment made, the cooperative can easily collect the red cherry coffee from its members and transport the dried coffee to a processing facility. In addition to drying red cherry coffee, the site can be used as a coffee nursery to distribute coffee seedlings of improved varieties of to its members. 
The cooperative has also applied the seventh cooperative principle by constructing a road to the nearby community.

Agripool experts Richard van der Maden (Rabobank) and Marijke Flamman-Schuil (NCR) visited the cooperative

The results

Agriterra's comprehensive support to the Man’issa multipurpose cooperative has yielded remarkable results:
  • The realisation of members’ ambition, investment - establishment of a red cherry coffee drying site
  • Created job opportunities during land clearing by using machineries.  
  • Increased trust between board members and members of the cooperative 
  • For the next production year, the red cherry coffee drying site creates a good opportunity to collect as much farmers produce as supplied. There is no longer any limit because of drying space shortage. 
  • Members commitment to supply their produce increased. 
  • New members joining the cooperative. 
  • Additional shares sold to members. 
Olika Urgessa, cooperative advisor Ethiopia, says: “we are always happy in supporting cooperatives and their members in realising their investment ambition.  Man’issa multipurpose cooperative investment realisation is an example for other sister cooperatives. 

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