Notes From the Road: PNG YUS

| October 26, 2012
The mist rolls into Yawan.

Our green bean buyer, Daniel, is currently traveling in Papua New Guinea. Here are his latest notes from the road:


Flowers were in bloom everywhere. Next year’s harvest! 
As I prepare for the next leg of my journey through the coffee lands of Asia-Pacific, I have a few moments to share a bit of what I’ve witnessed during my second visit to Papua New Guinea and the YUS Conservation Area.

This project is a collaboration between Caffe Vita and the Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Project (TKCP), aimed at improving the livelihoods of the farmers of the YUS Conservation Area through quality development and providing a market for their unique coffee. The Conservation Area is the first ever in Papua New Guinea and it protects 180,000 acres of diverse environment including pristine cloud forest that is the habitat of the endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo. The landowners who have pledged this area live in villages along the Yopno, Uruwa, and Som watersheds, with coffee representing their only major source of income. Caffe Vita’s purchase of the highest quality from last year’s crop was the beginning of what we hope to be a long and fruitful relationship that will benefit both conservation and community.

Berau shows us a tree he planted in January.

Though it has only been slightly over a year since my last visit to YUS, the farmers have made significant strides toward improving quality and strengthening the coffee community. Coffee gardens have been cleaned and pruned: seeds planted, shade cover improved, and drainage ditches dug. Knowledge and training has spread from village to village, broadening the high standards of picking, fermenting, and drying that we began to implement last year. Many new solar driers have been built and we have refined the designs further to make them more effective. 

A frame for a new solar dier with the farmers of Worin.
A new solar drier.

I was able to spend many hours speaking with the farmers of YUS and motivation is high after the purchase from last year is already having tangible effects throughout the area. Funds from the purchase have been invested in new pulping equipment, solar driers, and most significantly in the education and livelihoods of the future generations of YUS.

Future coffee growers of Mungku.

The past two weeks have been challenging yet rewarding and as I continue on my way towards Indonesia I leave with the knowledge that we have made significant progress towards implementing changes and proposing ideas that will continue to improve quality and strengthen the community of coffee growers of YUS.

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