What Are the Challenges Facing Lao Hill-Tribe Coffee Farmers?

Mr Kham Moune is a hill-tribe coffee farmer living in a small village in Xieng Nguen, Luang Prabang Province, Laos. Married with five children, he has 1,500 coffee trees. His trees are both shade grown and organic. In a neighbouring village, Mrs Nut has just under 1,000 trees, also shade grown and organic. She’s married with one child.

Mr Moune and Mrs Nut’s coffee farms are unusual for hill-tribe coffee producers, some of the poorest farmers in Laos. Numerous challenges face them, making quality Arabica production difficult.

Yet I believe it doesn’t have to be. Not when purchasers adopt direct farmer engagement.

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