The East African - - BUSI­NESS -

com­mer­cial cof­fee farms. Sim­i­lar protests took place in 2017.

Ze­lalem's brother Tsadiku Tadesse said he had been jailed eight times for his part in protesting against cof­fee in­vestors in the dis­trict

Not ev­ery­one in Gera dis­trict is hos­tile to in­vestors.

"Abana (cof­fee plan­ta­tion) is very help­ful to the lo­cal farm­ers," said Dag­nachew Fiseha, who ar­rived in the dis­trict six years ago. "They've brought elec­tric­ity and they come with free health­care once a year."

Ex­perts ad­vo­cate al­ter­na­tive ap­proaches such as par­tic­i­pa­tory for­est man­age­ment, which gives as­so­ci­a­tions of lo­cal farm­ers the right to con­tinue mak­ing a liv­ing out of the for­est while help­ing to stem de­for­esta­tion.

Ethiopia’s south­west­ern forests are thought to be the coun­try’s cof­fee’s birth­place.

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