The Lao Upland Rural Advisory Service (LURAS) is a project of the Lao and Swiss Governments, implemented by the Department of Extension and Agro-Processing (DTEAP) and Helvetas. Starting in 2015, LURAS is helping farmers to improve their incomes and food security through sustainable agriculture and small enterprises. LURAS has been supporting the coffee producers in the Keoset cluster for the past three years.
The District Agriculture and Forestry Office (DAFO) of Khoun District supports the farmers in 52 villages, including provision of technical advice for crop production, livestock vaccination services and protection of forests. Staff of DAFO work closely with development initiatives such as LURAS to implement, coordinate and sustain the work of these projects.
Mueang Xieng Coffee has been buying coffee from farmers in Xieng Khouang Province since 2012, originally to supply Saffron Coffee in Luang Prabang. The company has it’s own processing facilities and a large coffee nursery to support expansion of production. Meuang Xieng Coffee has been collaborating with LURAS to provide training to farmers in Keoset, and is now buying their beans at a premium price.
Comma Coffee is an independent coffee roaster and chain of cafes established in 2014, providing coffee products and services to consumers at five locations in Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. As the only organisation in Laos to host training certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), Comma has been an important source of advice on quality improvement. Cooperation with LURAS has also included coffee roasting, product packaging and professional cupping sessions.
The latest buyer for Keoset Coffee is Aromdee, a social enterprise launched in 2017 with support from the Laos-Korea Science & Technology Center at Souphanouvong University. In addition to organic coffee, they process and sell green tea, Kaiphen (river weed), sacha inchi, black ginger and other herbal products.
The Bolaven Plateau Coffee Producers Cooperative (CPC) represents nearly 2,000 families growing coffee in 55 villages in the South of Laos. As the leading farmer-managed coffee enterprise in the country, CPC is an important source of expertise. Members of the cooperative have provided training and advice to the farmers in Keoset to help them improve production and processing skills.
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