Bench Maji CoffeBench Maji Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union consists of 65 primary Cooperatives that serve 130.000 stallholders, Forest Coffee in Bench Maji is a coffee harvested from trees growing in such forest, with almost no management of the surrounding forest or vegetation, except some removal of undergrowth to facilitate access to the coffee trees.
The Bench Maji Coffee, currently known as Forest Coffee was once been wild and owned by no body. However, the farmers around the forest have been coordinated by government bodies and become cooperatives to own the coffee inside the forest. There are different environmental activists and /or NGOs working with Cooperatives for the conservation of the Bench Maji Forest.
In 1998, the government of Ethiopia designated three
areas for coffee genetic conservation
Geba-Dogi in Yayu forest, Illubabor zone
Boginda-Yeba in Kafa Zone
Berhane-Kontir in Sheko, Bench-Maji Zone
Research started in 1999/2000, & initial concept
presented on IPGRI conference in June 2000.
Gole et al (2002a) suggested the management of coffee
forests to be based on the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve