The people of Manggarai love their coffee. On 22 March, SNV in partnership with the Ford Foundation and Ayo Indonesia organised the ‘A Thousand Cups of Coffee” coffee festival in Ruteng to celebrate this love, as part of the New Coffee Future programme (which is funded by the Ford Foundation).
Hundreds of people from the town and the surrounding areas came to visit the festival and enjoyed the different kinds of coffee that were served. The event specifically promoted coffee grown in the Manggarai area and SNV provided 1000 free cups of freshly brewed coffee from a rich variety of local beans that includes Arabica, yellow Cathura, Robusta, Juria, and Lanang Arabica.
Rizki Pandu Permana, SNV Agriculture Sector Leader, was excited that the event had a great turnout. “More than 500 visitors attended the event, including national and regional government representatives, as well as farmers from 16 villages that were part of the SNV project.”
The Manggarai Greater Area has for long been well-known for coffee tree cultivation due to its high-altitude topography and cool climate. For generations, local farmers produced and traded beans from the coffea Arabica trees.
Old-fashioned approaches, aging trees, diseases, improper use of chemicals, years of neglect and poor agriculture practices have taken its toll on many of the trees in the region. As a result, harvests have dwindled, while the global demand for coffee is increasing. As the quality of the beans decreased as well, prices that farmers’ receive have fallen significantly and some have been forced to cut their trees and start growing more lucrative commodities.
SNV started this project with the believe that smallholders in the region are able to improve the production and quality of Manggarai coffee beans, making it more competitive, and opening it up to lucrative opportunities in the European and Japanese markets. More than 500 farmers benefitted from the programme.