In Sidama, the garden coffee system is widely practised. Coffee is grown near homesteads and is planted at low densities, ranging from 1,000 to 1,800 plants per hectare. Most garden coffee is fertilized with organic nutrients. Depending on variation in altitude and rainfall, the harvest period varies from September to December.
Harvesting is mostly done by family labour. Freshly hand-picked cherries are sorted before pulping and are sold to the primary co-operatives for wet processing. There, the fresh clean cherries are washed and allowed to ferment naturally. The fermented coffee is washed with clean running water, soaked in clean water and then dried to retain about 11.5 percent moisture. In this process, the coffee is moved continuously on the drying beds to secure even drying. Finally, the dried parchments are stored in a warehouse until delivery to the central market in Addis Ababa.