Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Social Impact of Coffee Crisis on the Pasemah coffee farmers in South Sumatera

Aloysius Gunadi, Brata (2007): Social Impact of Coffee Crisis on the Pasemah coffee farmers in South Sumatera.

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Abstract

In the last two decades, the world price of coffee has fallen significantly. The crisis has suffered millions of small coffee farmers in developing countries. However, in contrast to Latin America and Africa, studies on the impact of recent coffee crisis on the farmers tend to neglect Indonesia, one of the important coffee producing countries in Asia. The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of recent coffee crisis on the Pasemah coffee farmers. The Pasemah highland, in Lahat District, located at the Coffee Triangle or Southern Coffee Belt, which stretches across the three provinces in Sumatera, namely South Sumatera, Lampung, and Bengkulu. This highland is one of the important coffee producing areas in Indonesia and has a long history of the coffee cultivation. This study indicates that the recent coffee crisis also have a serious impact on the coffee farmers’ daily life in the Pasemah highland. The crisis depressed farmers’ level of living. The farmers used various strategies to survive their life. They changed their consumption pattern, such as substituting Dji Sam Soe—an expensive cigarette—with Gandum—a very cheap one. The story of prosperous coffee farmers has ended since the end of 1980s. Rather than ‘tunggu dusun’ (waiting the village), some of the Pasemah coffee farmers chose to stop operating their coffee farms and looked for other informal jobs, or went to Jabotabek to be urban informal workers. Other farmers preferred to make crop diversification on their farms. However, producing coffee is still an important agricultural activity for most farmers in Pasemah.

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