01 April 1999
East Timor plans coffee-based future

COFFEE is destined to play an important part in East Timors future as an independent state, according to the Financial Times.

Coffee plantations in the state, which is currently part of Indonesia, are in a poor state and farmers are unenthusiastic about rejuvenating production.

But development specialists quoted by the Financial Times say it would not take much to boost the coffee harvest.

The experts say growers could carve out a niche in the world market by producing a premium product.

Much of the growth in recent harvests has come from co-operatives, which teamed up with the National Co-operative Business Association, a US non-profit organisation.

The co-ops have succeeded in boosting coffee prices well above those commanded by uncertified loads.

  • Financial Times 01/04/99 page 42