Nano Challa cooperative was established in 2004 by an initial 25 farmer members from the Agaro town in the Jimma Zone, Oromia, Western Ethiopia. The founder members formed the group in order to foster unity and to share in addressing issues they were facing around finding good buyers for their coffee, eleviating debt and improving standards of production. Jimma is an area that had become synonymous with 'Jimma 5' - low quality natural processed commercial type coffee that fetches minimal prices on the internal and international market. The name Nano Challa in Oromifa means "the area above", a reference to their prime coffee growing location at high altitudes, benefitting from beautiful natural forest and rich organic soils.
Nano Challa's fortunes were boosted in 2010, when they were chosen to be part of the Technoserve Coffee Initiative alongside other remote farming communities in Jimma, which was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Technoserve provided technical assistance and training to producer groups, and helps coordinate agronomists and business advisors to help improve coffee quality, assist in the management of debt, reinvestment and the fair distribution of funds to each coop member. The impact of the initiative was huge, as it helped coops like Nano Challa transition from natural processing to washed, via the building of washing stations. In fact, Nano Challa was one of the first washing stations to be built in the area under the guidance of Technoserve, along with Yukro and Duromina.
Farmer members cultivate coffees at altitudes between 1850 and 2100 metres, and have around 3 hectares of land each, on average. As is the case across Ethiopia, most of the coffees grown locally are organic by default, and consist mostly of old, naturally indigenous heirloom varieties, punctuated by smaller areas of an improved native varietal called 1274. Once producers deliver coffee to the washing station, cherries are floated before being depulped using a Penagos Eco Pulper. The coffee is then soaked in clean water in concrete tanks for 8 hours before drying; firstly skin-dried and sorted under shade, before being sun dried for approximately 10 days on raised African drying beds.
1850 - 2100 meters above sea level
Bergamot / Peach / Orange marmalade