Farmer Highlight: Apichet

Farmer Highlight: Apichet

Apichet Suriyachaiphan

Tribal Group: Akha

Village: Doi Chang

Altitude: 1400 meters

Region: Chiang Rai

 

Q: What made you get into growing coffee?

A: My father used to be an opium farmer, but switched to becoming a coffee farmer and now I am taking over the family business.


Q: A second generation coffee farmer, that's great! So you must see a good future in coffee?

A: I definitely see a great future in coffee. I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up around coffee and see the many changes it has brought to this area.


Q: Can you talk more about the changes you've seen? Is there anything specific that comes to mind?

A: Well, when I was a kid, I remember seeing opium fields everywhere. It was very dangerous because the organizations that were employing the opium growers were bad people and abused many of the farmers. There were also many clashes with the border patrol, and I remember police raids at all hours of the day and night. Coffee is an amazing thing. Now, I look out over these mountains and see the natural forest returning, with coffee trees below. There are no longer police raids or abuse from drug organizations.  


Q: That's amazing. So, what will you do with the money from your harvest today?

A: The first thing I will do is prepare a huge meal for my family to celebrate the first harvest. Then, I will probably put the rest away to save for my daughter's schooling when she begins kindergarten this summer.


Q: Thanks so much for sharing today. I know that the readers will be grateful to hear a part of your story.

A: Of course. I hope that they will be able to enjoy my coffee while reading this interview! ;)