When I started in coffee it was not for the business. I remember there was huge forest fire in the area I lived and it destroyed very big parts of the forest.
My name is Tesfaye Bekele I was born in 1967. When I was still a boy I lived in a rural area of Oromia, Ethiopia. During my childhood I was mainly engaged in rearing cattle and helping my family with farming. It is customary for children from the rural parts of Ethiopia to help their parents and family in everyday life on the farm and in the family business. My family owns coffee farms and I participated in basically all work that was necessary on the farm.
Fast facts Suke Quto School Ethiopia
As I grew up I went to school and educated up to University. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy and an MSC in Natural Management. In my professional career during and after University I worked as a civil servant on different levels within the Ministry of Agriculture in Ethiopia in roles varying from expert to leader of institutions. I also worked as head of the department of soil and water conservation and in several projects on irrigation development.
At this point my daily activities all involve the management of the coffee production. In general this means the processing and marketing activities and taking care of my family.
When I started in coffee it was not for the business. I remember there was huge forest fire in the area I lived and it destroyed very big parts of the forest. After the fire many people came to claim and convert the land so it would be suited for crop production. There was no way of stopping the people from doing this. As I realized the situation could not be stopped I came up with the idea of providing coffee seedlings to the earth so at least we would be able to conserve the remaining trees and the soil. This turned out to be a success!
The coffee variety we produce in the area is called ‘Walicho’ and ‘Kurme’. The land receives Bimodal rainfall in the period from September to the end of November and from March to June. The soil is fertile, because of its volcanic origin and because of its deep top soil. The shade coverage is also high. The management gives high priority to taking good care of nature.
Together with Trabocca and Simon Lévelt a school was constructed. The construction of the school meant a great deal at the time it was built and still is a very great thing in my life. Many of the children of the people whom I work with receive basic education in this school, but many workers still have their children being educated in the dust without chairs, tables and with more than 120 pupils in one and the same class room.
For me this is a heart breaking issue and I am glad that with each reduction of the problem comes new opportunity for the lives of these young humans.
We aim to pursue many developments over the years to come: the improvement of social service, the improvement of life of the community I am working with. I am certain that an improved situation for the people with whom we work results in a better quality and quantity of the coffee production.
It is my strong ambition to improve social facilities and by prioritizing quality and quantity of the coffee production. We aim to do this with a strong focus on taking care of the community and nature.