Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve Area Cooperatives Receive Rainforest Alliance Certification
Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve Area Cooperatives have been certified with the Rainforest Alliance trademark by the Standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network. The network is a coalition of leading conservation groups that links responsible farmers with conscientious consumers. Its collective vision is based on the concept of sustainability, recognizing that the well-being of societies and ecosystems is intertwined and dependent on development that is environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically viable.
United Nations Development Programme in Ethiopia, in partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), has actively been supporting the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity in all their efforts advocating for on-site conservation of agro-biodiversity and cultivation of wild crops; creating markets that provide incentives for farmers to take up agro-biodiversity friendly practices; and promoting cultivation methods that ensure conservation of wild crop relatives and farmer varieties. The certification of Yayu forest Arabica coffee is an example of the results achieved so far.
Ethiopia’s indigenous landraces are highly prized for their potential value as sources of important traits for crop improvement, food sources and a risk-aversion strategy against crop failure. Forest coffee, teff, durum wheat and enset are all important crops with a vast potential of driving both sustainable and economic development in Ethiopia.
The potential of these wild varieties can be further unleashed by encouraging their production, distribution and marketing. The initiatives to brand Ethiopian forest Arabica coffee and work on agro-businesses have shown the first glimpses of the magnitude of this untapped potential.