Myanmar coffee set for sale in America

MYANMAR Special Arabica coffee cultivated in townships of Shan State and Pyin-Oo-Lwin in Mandalay Region will be first exported to America, according to the Myanmar Coffee Association (MCA).

In April, a container load of coffee was exported to Switzerland, allowing the exporters to earn US$ 3,800-4,000 per tonne.

Winrock International helped Myanmar coffee to meet the international export quality standard with the assistance of USAID. Currently, Japan and South Korea purchase Myanmar coffee.

We aimed to export the two container loads of coffee. The price offered depends on the quality and the market. The price offered to the coffee growers and the production costs have to be transparent to build trust with the buyers. Only then, our market lasts longer, “The higher the quality of the coffee is, the more we earn”, said U Ye Myint, the chairman of MCA.

Myanmar coffee has attracted the attention of the international dealers at the international coffee expo recently held in the American city of Atlanta, Georgia. The stable market and assistance is required to develop Myanmar’s coffee production.

MCA will also provide the technical assistance and coffee seeds for the coffee growers. The Finnish government announced in December 2015 that it will donate US$3 million for farmers to buy coffee seeds and fertilizers in order to deter poor farmers from cultivating opium poppy.

Coffee is one of many crops that groups use to encourage farmers in poor socio-economic areas to grow coffee instead of opium poppy, which is largely grown in Shan and Kachin States. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said that the soil and climate in northern Myanmar are perfect for farming coffee.

Coffee plantations first started in Myanmar in 1885 as ministries set up plantations in Myeik and Dawei, though these two projects finished a few years after they were set up. Kayin tribes are known for producing Robusta coffee, which still carries on to this day, according to FAO. The International Coffee Association global notes that demand for coffee has increased 2.5 per cent since 2012, with 150.2 million, 60kg bags were consumed in 2014.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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