Kilenso Mokonisa cooperative is based in the Sidamo region, also known as Sidama, located in the south west of Ethiopia. They are part of Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU) who export the coffee and work exclusively in the Oromia Regional State. OCFCU are one of the first producer groups to pilot the new Fairtrade Climate Standard which means 20,000 coffee farmers can improve their living conditions and income, while also becoming more resilient to the effects of climate change.
OCFCU also pays 70% of its net profit back to the cooperatives and Kilenso Mokonisa pays 70% of their profits back to the member farmers. Kilenso Mokonisa cooperative is about 20 kilometres from the town of Bule Hora and has 2,300 members, of which 135 are female. There are 150 workers and an extra 70 are hired during peak periods.
The average farmer has about two hectares of land and uses ‘false banana’ as an intercrop because it holds moisture from the soil and provides access to water throughout the dry season. The false banana or enset is also very space efficient and can feed more people per square metre of crop than most cereals. It is made into three main foods in Ethiopia – kocho, bulla and amicho.
The cooperative grows about 80,000 seedlings per year to replenish their members farms, seedlings are planted and nurtured for one year before being distributed.