VIENTIANE, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Bolaven Plateau Coffee Producers' Cooperative (CPC) based in Pakxong district, southern Laos' Champasak province, is aiming to export 64-65 containers of processed coffee beans worth 5 million U.S. dollars in 2020.
This is a slight increase on last year's export target of 63 containers worth over 4.8 million U.S. dollars.
The CPC has signed a deal with the Cafe Ma Company in Switzerland, the main distributor of Lao-grown organic coffee beans to major buyers in France, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, the United States and Canada.
Local daily Vientiane Times on Thursday quoted President of the Bolaven Plateau Coffee Producers' Cooperative, Bounthong Thepkaysone, said on Wednesday that seven containers of coffee beans will be shipped by the end of January, valued at 500,000 U.S. dollars.
"When we look at the quantity of coffee beans for export, it is quite small. But we actually consider quality first because most of our products are grown organically by our members, who comprise 1,032 families in three districts and three provinces," he said.
Coffee growers in 48 villages are members of the CPC. They live in Pakxong district in Champasak province, some 484 km south of Lao capital Vientiane, Laongam district in Salavan province, some 670 km southeast of the capital Vientiane, and Thataeng district in Sekong province, some 530 km southeast of Lao capital Vientiane.
The CPC was established in 2007 to improve conditions for Lao coffee growers and help eradicate poverty in the area. Thirteen years later the members of the group have better incomes, better health, and contribute to social development, said the report.
In 2018, Laos' biggest export crop was bananas, worth 209 million U.S. dollars, accounting for 30 percent of all agricultural exports. This was followed by 70 million U.S. dollars worth of coffee exports and 24 million U.S. dollars worth of dried cassava, according to a recent report from Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Most of the coffee grown in Laos is of the Arabica and Robusta varieties. Since 2015, Lao coffee exports (unit tons of green beans) increased from 28,320 tons in 2017 to 31,495 tons in 2018.
According to reports, the total area given over to coffee plantations was 95,400 hectares in 2018, with the total yield recorded at 154,135 tons, compared to 77,540 tons in 2015. Most of this area is on the Bolaven Plateau in Champasak province, where climatic conditions are most favorable.