SIngle farmer nano lots
CUP PROFILE :
BERRY / CHOCOLATE / SPICY / NUTTY / LINGERING / SWEET
REGION : Haraaz
ALTITUDE : 2050 MASL
CULTIVAR : UDAINI
PROCESS : NATURAL
Coffee Farming Experience : Since I could walk
No. of Dependants : 15
Education : Bachelors University Degree
TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPBRINGING AND HOW YOU GOT INTO COFFEE FARMING?
I grew up in the mountains of Haraaz. This area is probably Yemen’s largest coffee producing region. Growing coffee is a way of life, not a business. I never got to complete high school – I left when I was 14. I didn’t want to leave, but my family couldn’t afford it, and in our culture, you’re expected to start providing for your family at that age. I left school and started working the coffee farms with my father.
Over the years, we started growing some qat alongside coffee, like almost every farmer in Yemen. But I never consumed it; I actually hate it. I don’t want my children to stop their education like I did, so making a decent income is a matter of survival.
TELL US ABOUT WHAT DRIVES YOU?
I want to do something good for my land. Yemen is known as the blessed land and we call the coffee tree the blessed tree. Every morning, I wake up and drink a coffee on my rooftop, overlooking my farms. I am overwhelmed by how beautiful nature is and how lucky I am to be so closely connected to it. In the same way that I take care of my children, I want to take care of my land, nurturing it with love and compassion.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE FOR IN THE FUTURE?
When my father passed, I inherited a few hundred metres from him. Over the years, I’ve bought more land and now I have almost 10,000 square metres. I want to plant it all with coffee. It’s important to make a living from it, but it’s even more important that what we grow doesn’t harm our land or our people. Qat has destroyed Yemen, drugged its people and dried its water wells. But that’s finally changing now. For the first time in my lifetime, coffee growing can provide enough incomes to rid us of the need to grow qat.