Recent high coffee prices, due to a combination of rising demand in emerging markets and declining production outside of Brazil and Vietnam, have sparked concerns over the long-term supply of coffee beans. This paper evaluates the potential for expanding production from Indonesia—currently the world's third largest producer—to play a significant role in meeting predicted global demand. The research examines this possibility through a socio-economic assessment of coffee-based livelihoods in Indonesia. The research is based on a survey of household livelihood strategies across Sulawesi and Flores in 2008, and a series of stakeholder interviews with farmers, traders, NGOs and government officials. The findings show that coffee production retains an important function as a de facto social safety net for many impoverished rural households. However, few poor households are choosing coffee production as a viable pathway out of poverty. The author concludes that broader processes of industrialisation and economic development in Indonesia appear to be working against the possibility of Indonesia significantly increasing coffee production in the foreseeable future.

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