Experimental Coffee Farm Project

Location: Thailand

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
  • Gender balance & diversity
Sep 18, 2012, updated September 2012

Experimental Coffee Farm Project
COFFEE GROWER:Mheuyhi Abegoo has looked after the coffee plantation and garden at Nestlé’s Experimental and Demonstration Farm in Doi Tung, Thailand, since it was created.

The Experimental Coffee Farm project was established as part of the Doi Tung Development project under the patronage of HRH the Princess Mother to develop coffee as a profitable alternative to opium cultivation in rural Thailand.

The project was also in line with national efforts to stop slash and burn cultivation and water conservation purposes. 

The hill tribes in the areas were hired to work on the farms, thus giving them jobs in their own areas to prevent migration and joblessness. 

Programme description

  • Arabica coffee variety adaptation trial to find the most suitable planting material, both in terms of agronomical characteristic taste, and for the conditions in the northern Thailand
  • Demonstration of the most appropriate cultivation practice for coffee in high land area
  • Demonstration of proper post harvest treatment and installation to obtain quality coffee products
  • Study problems associated with Arabica cultivation
  • Possible source to supply of coffee planting materials for hill tribes in the area

Value to Society

Local hill tribespeople have been able to improve their quality of life by planting coffee, instead of opium, thus also reducing the number of drug addicts in the society.

Around 20 tribespeople were hired to work on the farm, plus another 1,000 farmers in the Doi Tung Development project. Tribes in surrounding farms have benefited from following Nestlé's advice. In 2012, 500 tons of Arabica green coffee were produced from high yield crops and the tribes earned over USD 2.5 million.

Value to Nestlé

In addition to being a good opportunity for Nestlé to experiment on yields and quality of Arabica grown in the region, Nestlé has been contributing to the society by helping local people access well-paying jobs that present an alternative to opium cultivation.

Nestlé will continue to support coffee research in the north of Thailand, as well as provide technical advice to local farmers. The experimental farm will be optimized as the training center for farmers in the areas, extension officers and government officers. It will also provide a demonstration of arabica coffee cultivation, and post-harvesting.

Next Steps