★East Timor Coffee, the hidden gem of high quality coffee country in Asia Pacific

My name is Yuki Ebizawa. I am the Country Director of East Timor program for Peace Winds Japan (PWJ), an International Humanitarian NGO. PWJ works with coffee farmers in the area called Letefoho, one of the best coffee growing regions in East Timor, to support coffee farmers produce high quality coffee and export worldwide. They have been producing coffee for a long time, and our program aims to strengthen farmers’ skills and knowledge to nurture coffee trees so that their livelihood can become more self-sustainable.


Letefoho is a beautiful area where in the dawn, you could see miles away in the clouds, and in the night can see the southern cross stars.



However, currently we are facing great challenge to increase the coffee yields due to the aging coffee trees, the production rates have been dropping significantly which is affecting the income and livelihood of many coffee farming families. In general, a coffee tree has the highest yields when a tree is around 10 years old, however, many trees are older than 50 years old in Letefoho.

In order to tackle this issue, it is extremely important to support the farmers to take action and find solution now, whether to plant new trees or replacing the old trees, as it will have significant impact in their income which contributes more to poverty or regional downfall. When the income level goes down, the quality of education, healthcare and other social opportunities could affect the entire community.


Your contribution would be valuable to strengthen the coffee industry and improve the livelihood of coffee farmers through this coffee rehabilitation program.


★The History of Peace Winds Japan and East Timor’s Coffee Production


In 1999, the popular referendum in East Timor on independence from Indonesia led to massive violence, displacing many people internally in the area. In response, PWJ provided medical assistance as well as food, shelter materials, and daily commodities to those displaced in the capital Dili and Liquica District. In order to meet the needs of people at the time of their struggle, PWJ remained in East Timor and implemented various activities including housing projects and livelihood assistance.

When the violence occurred in 1999, Peace Winds Japan immediately went to provide an emergency relief to help those who lost their families or houses from the crisis. PWJ continued to support the communities until 2002 when East Timor finally became independent. 


When, East Timor became an internationally recognized independent country in May 2002, people of East Timor especially the ones in the districts lived in extreme poverty and the coffee which supports approximately 25% of population didn't bring much cash to households as coffee farmers didn't have any choice but to sell their coffee cherry or parchment to buyers or middle men for very low price.

PWJ is working to assist coffee farmers to live better life through adding-value on the coffees and connect the farmers to consumers in Japan and International market.


In 2003, PWJ launched a coffee farmers' income generation program and started providing invaluable assistance to the farmers such as distributing necessary materials for coffee processing and providing instruction on better processing methods to produce specialty coffees.

The numbers of farmers which started from 10 in 2003 increased to 405 and througn selling coffees to us, coffee farmers are increasing their income by almost 60%.


Several families work as a community when processing the coffee. When harvesting some of the coffee, they check and remove coffee cherries that are overripe, unripe, and bitten by insects. 

As part of PWJ’s policy "No one left behind", we decided first to support people in the remoted area in Letefoho where has good growing condition and climate for coffee, with the annual rainfall exceeds 2,000mm and the altitude between 1,500m to 2,000m which makes it suitable to produce specialty coffee.


After PWJ launched income generation program, Letefoho coffee has been gradually exported into specialty coffee market in Japan, Autralia, Europe and the United States.

As a result, demand for Letefoho coffee is increasing since we introduced the coffee to international market.


After East Timor independence, coffee remains the most important agriculture product which is the second largest export goods after oil and gas from East Timor.

Additionally, more than 25% of population has been relying on income from coffee. According to the report by oxfam in 2003, the average coffee producing family is 6 members and the income is between 127 USD to 200 USD, and 90% of their income comes from coffee crop.

In addition, according the World Bank report in 2010, East Timor export value for coffee in 2015 is 10 million USD but there is a potential to increase up to 45 million USD after improving the production.


★ Major challenge faced by East Timor coffee industry


Now the entire coffee industry in East Timor is facing the same issue. And the government also recognizes the importance of coffee field rehabilitation to improve coffee productivity. However, the process of the coffee fields rehabilitation is stagnating.


To solve the aging coffee trees problem, it is required to pick strong coffee seeds, plant them into pots, grow them to the size that they can be replanted, and transplant them in the field. However it will also require a full-time staff to take care of, and build fences and roofs to protect the seedlings from birds and pigs that come to eat. In addition, the coffee trees need shade trees that protect from direct sun-lay and its leaves become good nutrition for soil.

Currently, in Letefoho, about 400 small-scale producers own about 600 hectares of coffee fields.  We have determined that we need to replant 60,000 trees including 30,000 shade trees soon otherwise Letefoho coffee region would have to face serious consequences.


With your contribution, PWJ could distribute new seedlings to producers for coffee farm rejuvenation which would enable the coffee producers, women, and children to have a better and brighter future.


★PWJ plans to provide new coffee tree saplings and technical trainings to coffee farmers, aiming to lead the coffee industry to prosper in the future

Your donation would be used for the coffee tree rehabilitation program for the 400 coffee producing families.
However, to ensure that the rehabilitation becomes sustainable PWJ will provide technical training program for the coffee producer through the topics below.


- the importance of Rehabilitation
- ways to rehabilitate (pruning, cutback, composting etc.)

After completing the training, the farmers would have the opportunity to replace the old trees and plant new coffee and shade trees.



★Aiding the Coffee Industry in East Timor to shape its future

East Timor was founded after its independence from Indonesia in 2002, and since then, the main source of economic output for the country, which was coffee, was yet to be a key industry. This Project was to aid the low harvest and technologically behind industry to be successful and to spread awareness to the world.

During Indonesian rule, oppression of civil liberty and freedom of speech has led to prolonged conflicts that damaged its economy and caused fear in the people. However, ever since its independence, the people have cherished and enjoyed freedom as children no longer had to endure war or violence.

For the Coffee industry in East Timor to expand upon its reaches, your support is necessary to not only improve the economy, but to support the people and to aid the future of the children growing up to lead the country.


Please, enjoy the drinks and support us to overcome this challenge for East Timor.



For this crowdfunding, you will be receiving certain rewards respective to your level of donation.


The rewards will differ respective to your chosen Coffee products.

Please, enjoy your freshly made coffee from East Timor!

(Japan residents only)


 By donating the respective amount you will receive a Letefoho Specialty Coffee Roaster free drink tickets valid at the PWJ owned café in Dili, East Timor.(East-Timor residents only)


There are courses where you can send an appreciation letter to East Timor as well as an option where you can input your name into the seedling and have images sent to you.
*For the appreciation letters, the time it takes for it to be sent will depend on the schedule of the East Timor postal service.



This is a donation course where you can directly experience the coffee and culture in East Timor
In addition to the rewards above,
•    Coffee Tree Rehabilitation Program  Report (PDF)
•    Your name honored in the donators section in the Report
•    A Thank you message for your support and donation (PDF)
•    An original keyholder
If there are any problems, please contact us

Some benefits of tax incentives, when donating to PWJ

As Peace Winds Japan is a certified NPO enterprise, your donations are tax deductible.
We will send a receipt to the donors through mail, if you have chosen to only receive a receipt for the donation.
Anyone who have chosen to receive a gift as a return for the donation, your donation is considered rather as a purchase of the gift, therefore donation certification receipt will not be issued.
For more information, please visit the link below.

(Japan residents only)


We are also accepting your donations by cash at our café in Dili, Letefoho Specialty Coffee Roaster!

For $50 donation: Receive 3 free drink coupons at Letefoho Specialty Coffee Roaster
For $100 donation: Receive 5 free drink coupons at Letefoho Specialty Coffee Roaster + 1 Letefoho Specialty Coffee Roaster original Eco bag
For $300 donation: Receive 10 free drink coupons at Letefoho Specialty Coffee Roaster + 1 Letefoho Specialty Coffee Roaster original Eco bag + 1 Reusable Cup Medium Size


Every dollar counts!