Guji coffee comes from the southern Oromia region of Ethiopia in the Guji zone, an area known for the indigenous knowledge associated with its forest conservation, largely due to the Oromo Gada system. This is the local traditional system of governance based on knowledge collected through the community for generations and it regulates all political, economic, social and religious activities in the community. People come together and talk about nature conservation and environmental problems, as well as other social and political issues, under the shade of a giant sycamore tree which is the Gada symbol. Once a year they hold a festival celebrating nature and giving thanks at the end of the dark and rainy winter months. This coffee was collected from the Odo Shakiso woreda and is grown under shade trees next to cottages in a mixed farming system that consists of cereals, maize, potatoes, and bananas. The soil is volcanic with high nutrients and the top soil is dark brown with a PH ranging from 5-6.8. The fertility of the soil is increased by organic recycling through leaf litter, pruning and root residue from the Enset (false banana plant) and shade trees. Rainfall distribution is bimodal with one harvest in April and the second harvest in August. This distribution pattern enables Guji to produce its unique flavor of coffee.
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