(MMTimes) – Though coffee has been grown in this country for 100 years, production volumes were low and the quality was hidden under a bushel. But now international aficionados are starting to take Myanmar seriously as a producer of first-class joe.
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Marcelo A Pereira Magnere, a smallholder expert from USAID, will be helping to bring about this transformation through a rural development concern, Winrock International.
“I started working more than a year ago in Ywarngan township, Shan State. The idea was to promote incentives for the coffee industry in Myanmar,” he said. “The industry has a lot of potential but it’s never been achieved. So when the coffee is exported, it can’t compete with larger-volume producers like Brazil and Colombia.”
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Other producers offer larger volume at a lower price. “But Myanmar coffee is excellent, one of the best I’ve ever tried anywhere in the world,” he said, adding that so far, nobody has sufficiently appreciated the country’s potential. Last July, for the first time in decades, 40 metric tonnes of Myanmar coffee was exported to the United States.
“Everyone loved its amazing quality. And this year, we’re working with five times as many farmers and will be able to export five times as much,” he said.