Mokanisa Bulega, Guji, Ethiopia
Mokanisa Bulega is a privately-owned washing station that is owned by Israel Degfa, a second- generation coffee farmer from Ethiopia who owns 46 washing stations/ wet mills and three dry mills across different areas of Southern Ethiopia.
Formed in 2013 and in the region of Bulega, this washing station is considered very new. The local producers who deliver to this washing station are located at a very high altitude of between 1,900 and 2,350 metres above sea level and are surrounded by small coffee growers who work around the protected forest area.
Israel is the owner and built the washing station on site at Mokanisa Bulega in 2014 to prevent the local farmers from having to transport their coffee to the nearest station, over 100kms away. Now, two thousand farmers in the area deliver the cherry direct to Israel’s washing station. The washing station works only five months a year, and processes both natural and washed coffee.
Coffee growing is popular in the Bulega area, and Israel also sources his coffee from the surrounding region. The area is populated by smallholder farmers who speak Oromife and are of Oromo ethnicity. Israel believes that educating the farmers in husbandry and providing them with financial assistance is the only way to sustain coffee growing long-term in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia can be a difficult place to purchase coffee direct from the producer due to the business complexity and the bureaucracy around coffee exporting. Most coffee in Ethiopia comes from cooperatives and not from private farms and washing stations – so finding and building long-term, direct and strong relationships can be very challenging.
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have formed a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with Israel and the Mokanisa Bulega farm.