Ethiopia Mormora Natural
Region: Guji, Odo Shakisso
Altitude: 1,950 – 2,150 masl
Plant Varietal: 74112
Tasting Notes: Strawberry, Gardenia, Grape
Mormora Coffee Plantation is located in the Shakisso ‘woreda’ (administrative district) in the south of the Guji zone of Ethiopia’s Southern Oromia State.
Mormora is owned and managed by Yodesa Yachisi, who purchased the farm in 2008. Yodesa’s background was in mining but when he moved into agriculture in early the 2000s he fell in love with coffee, and its ability to develop and connect communities.
Mormora is located forty-five minutes drive south-west of the town of Shakisso, and sits at an elevation of 1,800–2,100m above sea level. As with most of Ethiopia, agriculture and services are the main form of income for the people, and the short drive from Shakisso to Mormora really highlights it. Every small Oromo hut has a fenced off area growing fava beans, maize, bananas, or chat (a local narcotic plant that is chewed). These small gardens are the cash crops that sustain the income for these families, and it’s critical to their livelihood that these crops produce well every year. Most of the cash crops are sold locally, in the local town or marketplace, or traded at local shops or houses for other goods. Chat and coffee are the two biggest cash crops in this area: chat is able to be harvested more often and doesn’t require as much attention to grow, while coffee gets a better price if it destined for a washing station.
The rich red soil in the areas surrounding Shakisso contains gold, and mining is a big part of life in Shakisso. There are only a handful of commercial mines remaining. These large mines need licenses granted by the government, and in recent years the local communities have pushed back against the mines, mainly due to the feeling that they are not giving back to the communities as much as was promised initially. Much of the gold has been found on the banks of the Mora Mora river, and this is the focus of continued mining activity. Almost the whole surrounding area of Shakisso is dotted with people and families sifting through the red mud of the river for gold.