Myanmar coffee producers seek to expand export markets

Source : Myanmar Times
View Count : 465
Oct 09, 2019

US and Myanmar partners celebrated achievements in Myanmar’s coffee and other agriculture sectors in Yangon Tuesday at an event marking the end of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Value Chains for Rural Development project, under which USAID invested $27 million from 2014-2019.

Over the past five years, US-funded agriculture programs have helped some 40,000 farmers improve production levels and establish new export markets for local produce, US Ambassador Scot Marciel said.

Moving forward, strong producer and exporter associations such as Myanmar Coffee Association, Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association and the Sesame Farmer Development Association will carry on the work of helping farmers sustain production levels and penetrate new markets.

However, the US will still continue to invest over $17 million each year as part of its government’s Feed the Future Initiative.

With Myanmar agriculture products such as coffee now available in the US, coffee exporters are now focusing on expanding to other markets such as Europe as well as Canada, Japan and Korea, U Myo Aye, chair of Myanmar Coffee Association at the Myanmar Coffee Fair 2019 held in Mandalay this week.

“With the help of USAID for farming techniques, best practices, machinery and quality control, we are now able to export coffee to the US. Myanmar coffee is now listed as one of the world’s best coffee brands. We can now arrange to export to European countries with the help of development agencies,” said U Myo Aye.

“Europe is a good export market for us while Japan and Korea are developed and populated countries with a high volume of coffee consumers. So, we are targeting these markets for further expansion,” said U Myo Aye.

Myanmar is suitable for planting high quality Arabica coffee. The country now has around 50,000 acres of coffee fields, 80 percent of which consist of Arabica plants.

“Only Indonesia can rival Myanmar coffee in the Southeast Asia region as the remaining countries cannot grow Arabica coffee,” said U Myo Aye. Depending on the quality, Myanmar coffee fetches a price from $1,000 to $8,000 per tonne.

“We have been trying to promote Myanmar coffee to the world in past three or four years and now, the world knows about Myanmar’s coffee quality. As we have expanded our coffee market to Hong Kong, Singapore and even to US, other countries are starting to notice Myanmar coffee as well. Myanmar coffee will do even better in the next few years,” said U Ye Tint Tun, Director General of the Agricultural Department.

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