We support our farmers.We drink our farmers' coffee.We love AFFM coffee.
Posted by Ctum Myanmar on Sunday, 2 June 2019
In Hpayargyikone village, Myanmar, there are 37 farmer members of the Agriculture and Farmers’ Federation of Myanmar (AFFM), and 32 of them are coffee farmers. U Zaw Myo Naing is one of these coffee farmers. He owns six acres of land he uses in cultivating organic Arabica coffee beans.
For many years, coffee farmers in the village sold their coffee to middlemen who then sell the coffee to big companies. The farmers are paid a low price for their produce but this is their only option since they do not have skills on adding value to their coffee produce.
In 2017, AFFM brought U Zaw Myo Naing to attend a coffee forum in the Philippines. From this forum, he learned techniques on coffee production and how other countries packaged their coffee products. When he went back to Myanmar, he immediately went to work and applied what he learned by adding value to his coffee produce.
He roasted his coffee beans using the traditional method and ground the roasted beans after.
He also made efforts in improving the packaging of his products. Initially, he made 50 boxes out of 50 kilograms of roasted coffee beans. After three months, he was able to make 2,000 packs out of 100 kilograms of coffee beans.
With improved packaging and added value to his products, U Zaw Myo Naing now generates more income from his coffee business.
For years, U Zaw Myo Naing has been producing coffee and tea leaves on his farm. He used to sell small bottles of coffee powder to locals and foreigners. He has been trying to come up with small packaging for his coffee, however, he has very limited knowledge on this matter.
After learning about value-adding from the coffee forum he attended, he went on to apply his learnings and consequently, improved his products. U Zaw Myo Naing proved that when equipped with proper knowledge, farmers no longer need to sell their coffee to middlemen. Once they learn to add value to their produce, this will help them generate more income.
With improved packaging and added value to his products, U Zaw Myo Naing now generates more income from his coffee business. Now, he has a local market for his coffee. He has also been receiving a lot of requests for his products from the coffee association.
- After joining the AFFM, the farmers received training to further develop their knowledge and skills in coffee farming.
- To help spread about his products, AFFM brought samples of his coffee and introduced it to CTUM members during their meetings.
- Farmers face the problem of external market linkage for exporting their coffee products.
- Farmers need a GAP certificate so that their products can penetrate the external market / can be exported
- Insufficient labor
- Lack of stakeholders offering loans/credit
- U Zaw Myo Naing learned that the farmers themselves have the potential to add value to their products.
- Equipping the farmers with proper knowledge and techniques will help them improve their own produce
- Farmers need more internal and external market linkages to export their coffee products
- Teach the farmers with techniques on coffee production and value-adding