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98% of the coffee plantations in China are located in Yunnan Province. Yunnan has sufficient sunlight and a significant temperature difference between day and night, making it a suitable place for growing coffee. However, simply relying on the natural environment couldn’t make coffee farmers live better lives. The environmental conditions at coffee plantations in Yunnan Province vary greatly and frequently, making it difficult for coffee farmers to manage their production. In addition, limited by the undeveloped economic conditions, the coffee farmers in Yunnan generally have undeveloped production technologies and facilities. They always deal with complex environmental challenges with experience, resulting in low production efficiency.
The undeveloped conditions and complex environmental challenges lead to poor quality and insufficient production of Yunnan coffee. Most local coffee farmers only sell fresh coffee fruits or low-grade commercial beans, making it difficult for them to reap more profits. Usually, consumers pay about $5.5 for a cup of Americano, of which only about half a cent goes to coffee farmers. The average income of coffee farmers in Yunnan Province is about 2000 yuan per mu (1 mu equals 666.67 square meters), and their annual income is only about $1500.
The specific project activities are:
1. Development and operation of the IoT: this project will develop and install microclimate monitoring stations, soil moisture monitoring stations, and multispectral cameras for coffee ripeness monitoring to help the coffee farmers collect the core environmental data of the coffee field and lay a good foundation for the project staff to guide the coffee farmers to carry out precision farming.
2. Investigate and select service targets: this project will select service targets based on their actual conditions, including family financial conditions, farming technical level, field conditions, etc.
3. Provide the IoT facilities: this project will provide the selected coffee farmers with the above IoT facilities, installation support, and training.
4. Data service: according to the data collected by the IoT facilities, this project will also provide suggestions and guidance for the coffee farmers to help them understand and fully use the data.
This project has provided 40 microclimate monitoring stations and 60 soil moisture monitoring stations for coffee farmers in 10 villages in Simao District, Pu’er City. These facilities have covered 3500 mu coffee fields and benefited 100 coffee-producing families.
This project will encourage more coffee farmers to use the IoT agricultural facilities; help them upgrade their production methods from “depending on the natural environment” to “digital farming,”; improve their productivity and product quality; and enhance their livelihoods.
This project expects to increase the yield of coffee cherries from 600kg/mu to 800kg/mu, improve the quality, and make the coffee farmers enhance their incomes. We anticipate coffee farmers’ income will increase from $300/mu to $450-$600/mu, and their annual income will improve from US$1500/year to US$2250-$3000/year.
Beijing Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation was founded in October 2010 by many well-known economists, scholars, and business people. The executive board members of Leping include Ai Luming, Lin Rongqiang, Mao Yushi, Shen Dongshu, Tang Min, Wu Jinglian, Zhou Qingzhi, Zhang Weiying, and Zi Zhongyun.
Since 2002, Beijing Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation has successively developed five social enterprises that carry out works in ecological agriculture, rural children’s early education, rural women’s career empowerment, and micro-loans. They have directly served 0.25 million disadvantaged people and influenced almost 0.7 million people.
In 2016, Beijing Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation became the publisher of the Chinese version of “Stanford Social Innovation Review, SSIR” to introduce social innovation knowledge, experience, and cases from Asia. In 2017, the B-Corp project was officially launched. It aimed to promote the power of business to become the leading promoter of the B-Corps in China and take the system to empower the development of entrepreneurs.
Beijing Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation was honored as the 5A level foundation by the Civil Affairs Bureau of Beijing. It received many awards in the philanthropy areas during its development process.
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