Interviewing Coffee Smallholders in Sumatra
Early April our team went on a field visit to South Sumatra to visit smallholder coffee farmers in the Semendo region. As there is no airport close to the area the team embarked on a 12-hour drive through the beautiful forests that are scattered across Sumatra. With help from ECOM Sustainable Management Services, two coffee traders, who also grow coffee themselves, were interviewed about their personal financial needs and those of the farmers they work with. Numerous other coffee smallholders were interviewed as well in structured interviews as well as randomly in town, as almost everyone in this village seemed to have a small coffee plot. Apart from speaking with the farmers we also met with several bank in the region, to understand their current agrifinance products and to pitch them a new loan product tailored to coffee smallholders. The project is still in the inception phase, so watch this space for any future updates on the project.