Ethiopia: production practices, Constraints and Local Responses

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the Case of Gedeo, South Ethiopia

According to some historical records, the coffee plant was first discovered growing wild in Kafa zone, special area called mankira (Ethiopia) sometimes before 9th century A.D.

Kafa is believed to be the origin of the words coffee in English; Caffe, in Italian; and Caf'e in French.

Later on, Arab traders took the beans to Arabia where it also thrived.

That particular species was given the name Arabica, which is presently known as Coffee Arabica.

In its home country Ethiopia, coffee is known as bunna (in Amharic); bun (in Tigrigna); buna (in Oromifa); buno (in Keficho); Kawa (in Guragigna); and buno (in Gedeufa).

Some consider that these and other names of coffee were derived from Kafa of Ethiopia where coffee is believed to have originated from.

Many researchers believe that enset (Ensete ventricosum) is drought resistant and people in these culture areas have rarely experienced famine; and coffee is the major cash crop in Ethiopia.

Lucky enough, the Gedeo grow both crops.

But, unfortunately, livelihoods among the Gedeo have been deteriorating since the past one and half decades.

What are the major reasons to this paradox?

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