In a three-part weekly Crossfire, Ethiopian coffee advocates debate whether the market for Ethiopia's specialty coffees is deteriorating and how the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange represent the government's attempt to promote and control the new market.
The debate on these and other related issues is taken up by Eyob Tekalegn, the head of finance & business affairs section at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington, D.C. and Wondwossen Mezelekia, a frequent advocate of the Ethiopian beans in the U.S. market. Wondwossen posts a blog in Seattle called Poorfarmer. He says the poor farmers won't be represented fairly in the new market if most of the 11 members of the exchange's board of directors are government officials.
Eyob on the other hand claims some of these officials are represented in the board simply as stake holders not as government officials as some of them are market players themselves. VOA Amharic's Crossfire host Alula Kebede moderated the debate.