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Tell us, while everything is getting boring coffee doesn’t. 
U Shwe Har: Coffee is amazing! All my current work is dedicated to coffee plants and preparations for the upcoming season.

Chin Coffee – what is it special attribute (character) compared to other coffees from Myanmar?
U Shwe Har: I have two Shan coffee plants in my farm. For outer appearance, the Shan coffee is bigger in size, both leaves and seeds compare to Chin coffee. For the taste and quality, I have never tested before comparing each other and hard for me to say their difference.

What makes you proud to be a coffee grower?
U Shwe Har: First of all, I give special care to my coffee plants. I dig holes for saplings and use natural fertilizer such as rotten leaves and wood. It is organic coffee. Secondly, I heard from Nat Coffee that my coffee win the first prize in a coffee competition. This makes me proud to be coffee grower.

Your products are well-known for its great quality: How do you improve quality?
U Shwe Har: I join coffee training including the training that Nat Coffee held. According to the knowledge gained from the training, I’ll try to implement new techniques. When the trainer said to dig the ground hole and to fill a layer of first digging earth, I decided to fill the hole with a layer of rotten leaves and wood. I think it will affect coffee quality.

How is the collaboration among Chin coffee farmers?
U Shwe Har:  In Chin State, the farmers are now growing more and more elephant foot yam. But I go around the village and meet with farmers to explain that the future of coffee is promising. I wish to have a small coffee farmer group just like Shan people has. In this way, I think we can collaborate for the future of our Chin coffee.

When you think that your exported coffee will be ending up in a coffee cup for coffee lovers, what would you like to wish them?
U Shwe Har:  I am glad to hear that my work or my products are exported to foreign countries. I wish  the coffee lovers to enjoy my coffee and to have satisfaction and relaxation as they are enjoying my pure organic coffee.

What is your ambition and dream for Chin coffee?
U Shwe Har: I will continue to grow coffee despite the relative small income compared to cash crops (elephant foot yam).
I love to wander in my coffee garden and sense the fresh smell of the flowers.

How has the coffee price evolved in Chin among the last ten years? Were you able to increase your income?
U Shwe Har: Over the last ten years, coffee price was not attractive to us. As Chin coffee becomes more popular I hope that we can generate more profit.

Many Chin producers are switching to other crops such as elephant foot yam. Why are not giving up coffee while you could get more short term revenue with elephant foot yam?
U Shwe Har:  I have read that elephant foot yam can ruin the soil and harm other crops nearby, but
coffee cannot affect my soil and other crops. As I said above before, I love coffee and I don’t want to give up coffee growing.

Finally, do you have something to say to the Nat Coffee Team?
U Shwe Har: I really appreciate the support from Nat Coffee. Because of that encouragement, I have confidence in my coffee growing and its future. Really thanks to Nat Coffee Team!!

Discover coffee from U Shwe Har:

Interviewed by Tin Ko Latt, Supply Chain Manger at Nat Coffee, 9 May 2020