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November 17, 2019

Loans and assistance needed to expand coffee market

Just as agricultural products, such as rice, beans and pulses, bring in significant foreign currency, also coffee can become an important cash crop.
This is because Myanmar’s coffee is high grade. In coffee quality specifications used throughout the world, a Cupping Score of 80 and above is considered a special grade coffee, and coffee produced in Pyin Oo Lwin, Ywangan and Thandaung has a score of between 84 and 90, while coffee produced in Chin State was of special quality, reaching a score of 96.
Coffee is a type of high-value industrial crop. The Arabica coffee produced by the Ywangan region in Shan State is recognized worldwide as a specialty coffee. In addition, it is an organic product. Now, Arabica coffee is in high demand in foreign countries and it is being sold at a fair price.
Further, the Union Government is encouraging farmers to expand Myanmar’s coffee market and to boost production of coffee with local and foreign investment.
Even though our natural environment is suitable for growing internationally certified coffee, we currently have to import over 160 tons of coffee seeds worth over US$420,000, over 6,000 tons of instant coffee mix worth US$23 million and more than 6,200 tons of coffee powder worth US$16 million yearly.
Two years ago, Myanmar produced some 8,000 tons of coffee. Yet, the country exported 200 tons of coffee in 2017, 300 tons in 2018, and 500 tons this year. Myanmar is exporting coffee to Russia, China, the US, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.
Our coffee has a high potential in the country to replace instant coffee mixes imported from abroad.
But, we need more cooperation between coffee growers and related departments to gain a strong market and to promote Myanmar coffee exports.
Hence, to substitute imported coffee we should first boost coffee production. To do this, there is a need to distribute high-quality seeds, explain cultivation methods to farmers, develop plans for laboratories and cooperate with private and international organizations to elevate the quality of coffee and, in turn, raise prices. We also need to hold coffee forums to seek out foreign markets.
To expand the coffee market investors need support in the form of loans and assistance by relevant departments.
There are ten State-owned coffee farms and nine private farms which have been granted GAP certificates.
It has been reported that the Agricultural Department has pledged to help growers tackle challenges in boosting the quality of production. In this, the Myanmar Coffee Association and private entrepreneurs are cooperating to promote Myanmar’s coffee.
Hence, we are confident that we will surely achieve great success in this drive to expand Myanmar’s coffee industry.

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