ADDIS ABABA - Bench Maji Coffee Producers Cooperative Union announced that 16 new coffee washing plants would go operational soon.
The Union already operates five coffee washing plants and another one is still under construction. Upon completion the Union would own 22 such plants to raise quality of its production as well as maximize benefit of its members.
The Union brings together more than 20,000 coffee farmers in Bench Sheko Zone of South Nations, Nationalities and peoples State which is known for its production of the Kaffa Forest Coffee variety.
The Union earned over 608 million Birr in the just-ended budget year from the sale of coffee, honey and spices. About 380 million Birr has been earned from exporting 2,323 metric tons of coffee, while the rest came from selling coffee, honey and spices in the domestic market. Out of the total revenue earned during the fiscal year, about 227 million ETB is profit, it was revealed.
Director-General of Federal Cooperative Agency said that cooperative unions are base for overall development. "They play an important role for the nation's economic development by improving the lives of farmers and pastoralists and by finding and facilitating markets for farmers to sell the grown agricultural products at a better and fairer price at the domestic market and abroad.
General Manager of the Union, Getahun Tekle, told The Ethiopian Herald that the union is working hard to improve the quality of coffee to meet international standards, and to benefit farmers by producing a wide range of products.
The union will hold its 12th year general assembly next week at Mizan Teppi University.