By Yu Yu Thein
Following is an interview with U Zaw Thein who takes in charge of the coffee technology development farm in Ngaphe Township, Magway Region under the Agriculture Department.
Q: Could you please tell me the current performance of the farm?
Ans: To distribute the seedlings to the growers in the coming monsoon 2022, 50,000 coffee plants and 10,000 seedlings each for Petai bean, avocado and Macadamia have been raised in our farm, totalling 80,000 seedlings. The nursery of new coffee varieties is being carried out as well.
Q: What are the other activities of the department?
A: There are 10 coffee growing village-tracts in the highland area. It is time to harvest and the post-harvest technology comprising the systematic packaging, processing and storage is being disseminated among the growers. The tool to determine moisture content and test sugar level has been provided to the growers. The department is also conducting know-hows of the machine.
Q; Please tell me about the prospect of courses related to coffee technology.
A: We have a plan to launch courses to improve coffee technology and production in 2022. The coffee growers’ group has been formed to produce speciality coffee. The department offered three courses and three pieces of training on demonstration model plots in the previous years.
Q: I like to know the production of the coffee farm (Natyaykan) and sowing acreage.
A: There are 26.36 acres of highland Arabica (Viet Nam’s origin) in the coffee farm (Natyaykan). The production rate is 2.5 tonnes per acre.
Under the guidance of the Union Minister, an experimental plantation of Arabica coffee varieties SL 28 and SL 34 which fit for the weather is being undertaken on two acres.
Q: Could you please explain about nursery seedling and harvest season of coffee?
A: The garden waste and residues turn to organic fertilizer. The growers use those recycled natural fertilizers. The awareness of organic farming practices and composting methods have been conducted. The harvest season of our farm is one month later than the regular season due to the effects of the shade on the hill. It is harvested between January and March.
Q: What would you like to add as the person in charge of the farm?
A: The coffee market is strong on the hill this year. Genius Coffee producer from Ywarngan Township came to buy our speciality coffee. It is also demanded by Shan State. The price varies every day. The growers have a plan to increase acreage in the following year as the income is growing year over year.
Natyaykan coffee farms in Ngaphe Township produces 2.5 tonnes of coffee seeds. Those coffee seeds are sent to the markets of Ywangan, Yenangyoung and PyinOoLwin townships, fetching K3.5 million per tonne.