Through the support of IndoChina, we are extremely excited to be working with a new association of 18 communities of coffee producers in the Ywangan area called Shwe Taung Thu (translates to ‘Golden Farmer’). Shwe Taung Thu came together in May 2018 to provide leadership, finance, technical assistance and market linkages for its members who had received support from USAID’s ‘Value Chains for rural development’.
This project, working with partners Winrock international and the CQI aimed to support small holders to switch to high value specialty coffee from lower value commercial grade coffee, previously promoted as an alternative to opium production as well as other riskier livelihoods such as mining.
Each of the 18 communities has its own working group which is responsible for managing the processing of the coffee within each village. The focus is exclusively on producing dry naturals – the climate and terroir is particularly suited to this process, with very dry heat during the harvest season providing excellent conditions for drying. Also, dry naturals do not need the high-tech machinery or water that is required for washed coffees, making this processing method implementable at a community level.
Pha Yar Gyi Gone is named after the village in which this coffee is grown which comprises of 200 Danu households, the production of this coffee is managed by a core group of around 25 members. This group has donated some of their profits to the local school as well as invested in more drying tables.
This is an exceptionally clean and bright natural processed coffee, which really reflects this community’s meticulous attention to detail and dedication to producing the best quality coffee possible.
Ripe cherries are picked and delivered to a central collection point in the village. This is then hand sorted by villagers, retaining the best cherry and removing under and over ripe fruits. The cherries are then spread out to dry on raised beds. With weather variations through the season, drying takes between 11-32 days, with the cherry moved each hour to ensure even drying. Dry milling takes place through a local exporter.