Choosing coffee over poppy - a public-private partnership (Myanmar)

In Southern Shan State infrastructure, access to basic services and income opportunities are scarce. Poverty and malnutrition are omnipresent and out-migration is high. Building on a private-public partnership with Malongo, a French coffee company and Walter Matter SA, a Swiss logistics firm, SDC supports the Green Gold coffee cooperative and its 900 members to become a sustainable and business-oriented organisation.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Agriculture & food security
SME development
Agricultural co-operatives & farmers’ organisations
01.06.2019 - 31.05.2023
CHF  475’000
Background Finding alternative income sources for the estimated 300,000 opium farmers in Myanmar is a daunting task. In southern Shan State UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) has initated a coffee cooperative including producers from 53 villages and farming around 800 hectares of coffee. The coffee-producing area covers mixed-controlled and Ethnic Armed Organisations controlled lands in Hopong and Loilem townships.
Objectives To create conditions of autonomy for the Green Gold cooperative and its member farmers through sustainable business practices and business prospects. Moreover, the intervention will contribute to the trust-building efforts in these mixed and Ethnic Armed Organisation controlled areas of southern Shan State.
Target groups Green Gold cooperative, its over 900 members. its administrative board and executive staff.
Medium-term outcomes
  1. Coffee production: Farmers have the capacity to produce certified quality organic coffee
  2. Governance: The cooperative’s governance system and communication flow assure a stable organisation with fair trade certification
  3. Administative systems and infrastructure: The cooperative has the necessary systems and infrastructure to compete with a sustainable business model in the international market

Expected results:  

  • Continued fair trade certification of the cooperative
  • Trainings for governing and administrating a cooperative
  • Operational dry mill, coffee roaster and warehouse trainings for organic coffee farming and subsequent organic certification of farmers

Results from previous phases:  

Key results and insights from previous phases

  • 8.88 tons of coffee were harvested, processed and were exported to France
  • The cooperative was successfully certified as fair trade

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector South/East

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • UNODC and its donors Finland and Germany
  • new SDC projects Social Infrastructure for Conflict Transformation and Peace Building and Skills for Local Economic Development (Skills-LED) in South Shan
  • German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    475’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    392’127 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF   1’932’801