The country of Laos is now home to a Coffee Test Farm. The founder, Brian Brewer recently visited us at the Coffee Research Center and shared about his organization with our staff as well as collaborated information. The organization’s name, Ban Hao Agriculture (ບ້ານເຮາ) means “Our Village/Local”. Ban Hao strives to introduce new genetics as well as wet/dry mill to the local region in Laos where it is located. Brian works with smallholder farmers to improve their coffee. “Currently we’re doing this through a seedling distribution program where we give them new genetics to own and then in 3-4 years they give us back seedlings once their coffee is producing”, quoted Brian. After this, the coffee is distributed to local farmers. The farmers then have the right to sell the coffee for whatever profit they choose, because Brian says it was theirs to begin with. Ban Hao will buy the coffee at a much higher price (last year the price offered was almost double the average rate in their area) as long as they have the right varieties and are picked correctly.
Due to these factors, Brian’s organization is also instituting trainings for the local farmers regarding the best practices for coffee growers and picking the coffee.
We look forward to hearing more of what all they are doing and hopeful to begin collaborating as well.