Field Day: AMU researchers sensitize community on coffee varieties

To equip agricultural community with innovative ideas and technologies that will give new lease of life to their stagnant livelihood and impetus to sluggish regional agricultural practices, AMU’s office for Research and Community Service Vice President has held ‘Field Day’ at Demba Gofa district of Gamo Gofa Zone from 2-3 June, 2018. Click here to see the pictures.

Research Directorate Director, Dr Teshome Yirgu, said, ‘Field Day’ is the part of research and on the occasion our researchers have imparted strategic information to agricultural community growing coffee. Coffee is the backbone of Ethiopian economy as it fetches immense foreign exchange, but Gofa Gofa Zone didn’t seem to be making noteworthy contribution in it because whatever it produces hasn’t been commercially significant so far.

On the day, we informed farmers as to which appropriate varieties of coffee is best suited to this agro-ecology that will transform their economy; later, seedlings of six different varieties will be distributed among them, he added.

AMU researcher, Associate Professor, Mr Seifu Fetena, who is involved in project - ‘Evaluation of Coffee Improved Varieties - improved and local for better yield in Gamo Gofa’, said research is carried out in six sites of Gamo Gofa Zone i.e. Dembe Gofa, Geze Gofa, Boreda, Bonke (two sites) and Kamba. In each site, I have analyzed four varieties of which, three are improved and one local i.e. in high altitude, 741158, 74110, 74140 and local – Armo, for mid-altitude, F-35, 744 & 8136 and for lowland 1377A, F-59 (Desu), 7454 and local (Mode).

He said, coffee can be grown in all agro-ecology, but there are varieties more adaptable to high altitude give better yield. Such 40 varieties have been released by Jimma Agricultural Research Centre (JARC) as it’s their national mandate, but according to the preliminary survey conducted by College of agricultural Sciences only two varieties reached to Gamo Gofa Zone.

Further he adds, Gamo Gofa Zone doesn’t have improved varieties, it had some, but due to lack of sustainable seed sources and poor extension services mismatch was happening all around; highland varieties were cultivated in lowland and lowland’s in highland.

According to the available statistics average annual coffee yield in Gamo Gofa is six quintals per hectare while it’s over two-fold at national level. Till date, the research that started in 2013, could identify six better varieties for this agro-ecology; soon adaptable trial will be carried out.

On how best varieties were identified, he said, while ascertaining significance of these varieties, three important parameters were looked into such as yield, resistance to disease and overall performance. And after the cup quality analysis, Gamo Gofa coffee will possibly be branded.

On knowledge gaps, he said, neither district experts know about the varieties nor community were cognizant about it, therefore, we informed farmers about the importance and management of coffee and intimated them that the seed source will be JARC.

Research and Community Service Vice President, Dr Simon Shibru, addressed the community. AMU community including top officials, deans, directors, heads of departments; senior experts and officials from Jimma Agricultural Research Centre, Dembe Gofa District Agricultural Office, Gamo Gofa agricultural offices, 45 coffee growing households from three neighboring kebeles of the research site and others were in attendance.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)