Shan, Mandalay to scale up coffee exports

More than 100 tonnes of coffee beans produced in Shan State’s Ywar Ngan and Mandalay’s Pyin Oo Lwin townships could be exported within this year and there is potential for further export too, said U Min Hlaing, secretary of the Myanmar Coffee Association.
The target countries for export are America, Japan, Canada, Korea and Australia with one tonne of coffee beans, depending on the quality, fetching a minimum of US$4,500 to maximum of more than $6,000.

“This export amount is only from Ywar Ngan and Pyin Oo Lwin townships. There are also other exports too. Coffee beans produced in Than Taung Gyi are exported to China. There is also another additional 100 tonnes of coffee to be exported,” said U Min Hlaing. Myanmar coffee has good potential and current prices can be regarded as good prices, so coffee cultivators will have to work hard to produce more.

“Coffee farmers need supports such as loans and better technology. And, there are also land problems,” said U Min Hlaing.

U Win Aung Kyaw, chairman of Ywar Ngan Coffee Association, said that as international buyers approve of Myanmar coffee quality, it has potential to be exported next year. However, there is a difficulty due to the lack of machinery.

“In Ywar Ngan, each coffee farmer grows two to three acres. The farmers have to pay more charges as they do not have sufficient machinery to transform their raw materials into finished products. In foreign countries, coffee seeds are classified using machines. These machines can produce four tonnes in one hour but [in Myanmar] over 30 workers are required. So, I want to urge coffee farmers that I want them to plant macadamia plants as shade trees for coffee plants.

They provide shade when they are four years old and they bear fruits. One tonne of exported macadamia nut is K6 million. The farmers can earn extra money even if it is not coffee season,” said U Win Aung Kyaw.

Coffee produced from Ywar Ngan is exported to America (38 tonnes) and to England (18 tonnes). This amount to about $7,000 per year. 80 villages out of 120 villages of Ywar Ngan cultivate coffee and there are around 8,000 acres of coffee farms. Majority of the people cultivate in two or three acres field as a manageable scale.

Last year, 36 tonnes of special-grade coffee beans were exported to the US at a price of about $7,000 per tonne. Meanwhile, 18 tonnes of premium beans were exported to Switzerland at around $4,000 per tonne. The coffee farmers of Ywar Ngan village produce a total of 700 tonnes of coffee bean and they sold the beans to Malaysia, Thailand and domestically. The local price of coffee was K3.5 million per tonne in 2014 but now it has reached K4.5 million per tonne.

Source: Myanmar Times

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