One of the most exciting & interesting project we set to accomplish at this harvest season is the training program we began at the start of November at the GATTA DAYE BENSA FARM. From the many projects, this school is one of the significant programs we carry out to the community. Targeted at creating professionals on coffee processing and quality control. This training mainly focuses on filling the gap caused by the lack of skilled workforce.
Bitsuan Abera one of the 3 female trainees at the farm is from Debre Zeit. She studied Horticulture and Plant Science at Debre Markos University. She has always been interested in coffee production but never gets the chance to get involved in the industry. But when her sister saw the notice about this training program and notified her, She instantly applied without any delay and second thoughts.
“I believe I am given the best opportunity that I could get, I have been always passionate about coffee but I couldn’t do anything about it because there are no facilities that conduct this kind of effective training, whereas students are exposed to real farms and operational coffee processing stations.” Her stay at the University was full of paper based lectures and theoretical lessons, which makes understanding harder even the simplest concepts. “Not only I am taking practical lessons, I am grasping much knowledge about tasks that are done outside of a farm, like coffee marketing and quality assurance. I am also acquiring multiple skills like Management, Human Resource, and proper work ethics.”
She added, “I would want to continue working in an environment like this, there is something to learn and something to know about every day, I want this training to continue bringing better opportunities for other interested students, just like what it did for me.”
Coffee tradition and production in Ethiopia dates back many centuries, thru all that time it has affected the social and economic aspects of the country to a great extent than any other commodity, which can be valued as bringing 60% of foreign income and more than 18 million people livelihood relying on coffee production.
But despite all this, the amount of qualified personnel in the industry is too low even to be recognized. Which truly hinders the output and the quality of coffee produced. The government and participating parties in the industry are rarely seen engaging in providing better education and assessment.
Which prompts Daye Bensa Coffee to implement a training program to alleviate the issue. This training program is mainly intended to produce educated manpower for the growing coffee industry in the country.
The training includes coffee processing lessons, starting from farm and harvesting up to Quality Control, Management, Human & Resources Management, and as well as overall coffee value marketing. It is facilitated at GATTA Daye Bensa Coffee farms in Bensa, Sidama. Provided by well-experienced trainers and quality controllers, where trainees get to learn the whole technical process in real life.
Amanuel Ayele is another trainee at GATTA Farm. He is a resident of Daye Bensa. After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Business and Value Chain Management at Arbaminch University, He had done some attachment works in Wolaita Sodo related to coffee. But he recalls that there was nothing much to be involved in and no newer things to learn to, because of less practical work at the facility.
He said, “There were only written lessons and, that’s all. And it only revolved around basic and mediocre concepts and procedures, which couldn’t add any value to the production and quality of coffee.”
“But here, we are learning everything from the ground up, starting from farm & harvesting, better techniques, and procedures on natural coffee processing. But also the experimental anaerobic process. We get the chance to be involved in producing the best coffee beans and learn through the experience. ”
The program offers the trainees with internship wages in collaboration with COBEANS who is financing 4 of the trainees, a living facility, and all the necessary necessities. Also, provides a certification upon completion which brings better working opportunities and opened doors to the students, well-educated personnel for the facilities & the stations also to the community around it.
Daye Bensa Coffee intends to continue this program in the future, with main goals set as producing 100 – 200 highly skilled young coffee professionals in the coming 3 - 4 years, expanding the project to many of its stations, and provide the opportunity to the nearby farmer’s children and interested individuals, and also collaborating with higher education institutions to provide a sustainable and proper form of knowledge & education on the subject, with an objective of supplying professionals to the whole coffee industry and benefit the country in a bigger picture.