Fig 1:1 Cherry Collection Point
As we are moving towards the mid-harvest seasons, there have been some hindrances and pitfalls in relation to cherry buying. Despite the season being well suited for processing and stations are well facilitated, the amount of coffee on drying beds is limited. One of the main reasons for this occurrence could be traced back to last year’s NY arabica coffee market which scored an all time high due to severe drought and unusual frost conditions in Brazil, which caused turmoil in the coffee market. In spite of its value retreating, the local pricing doesn’t seem to be affected by it. Other factors are the local economical instability and inflation. From a producer point of view, farmers are choosing to hold onto their coffee and sun dry it on their own patios rather than sell it, in hopes of the value for it going up in months and also as the coffee holds better worth than a cash on hand. And for supplier/exporters, there is unnecessary competition among each other which is all about securing red cherries at a very high price. In between this demand and supply chain, middle men and brokers are taking advantage of the current dynamics, steepening the price even higher. Also smaller influences like lack of cash to be distributed to exporters to buy cherries are one to blame. Local price of coffee is a bit low compared to the previous months but since it's still above the export price, much coffee is making its way to the local market. Regardless of these hiccups, the season’s harvest is going well. The amount seems more promising than last year. Lower lands of Sidama are at their peak harvest.