Harenna coffee has been recognized as one among the five best coffees in the whole of Africa. The Harenna forest is in the Bale National Park at an altitude of 2000 metres. Harenna coffee grows spontaneously and is still collected by the small local community – approximately 5000 people – that was isolated until a few decades ago, when the first road in the forest was built by Mengistu’s socialist army. Coffee is first carried by donkeys and then by lorries along a 4000-metre high road: this is the highest paved road in Africa.
Recent studies show that in 40 years coffee could disappear in Eastern Africa due to climate changes. However, the genetic biodiversity of the Harenna forest could be a solution to the risk of extinction due to diseases or climate changes.
( 2012 )