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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2023, 6(23); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2023.062306.

The Coffee Farmers Who Don't Drink Coffee—An Anthropological Study on Economic Inequalities in Baoshan, China


Suni Sunny Rui

Corresponding Author:
Suni Sunny Rui

Wuxi Dipont School of Arts and Science, Wuxi, Jiangsu, 214124, China


Coffee has gradually gained importance across the globe. Due to favorable geographical conditions and a climate suitable for cultivation, Baoshan City, as one of China's coffee origin regions, presents numerous issues worthy of exploration and resolution. Through in-depth field research, this study aims to investigate the current state of the coffee industry in Yunnan's Baoshan region and why there is a significant economic disparity among individuals engaged in the same industry in this area. The study employed anthropological research methods, including participant observation, field surveys, and interviews, to gain insights into various aspects of the local coffee industry. The research subjects included coffee farmers, estate owners, and individuals involved in the complete coffee supply chain, as well as deep-processing brand enterprises. The study identified three primary factors contributing to the economic underdevelopment and wealth disparity in Yunnan's Baoshan region. First, information asymmetry is a problem, as coffee farmers lack access to up-to-date information and professional knowledge about the coffee industry, making it difficult for them to set coffee prices independently. Second, even with equal access to information, many villagers tend to pursue a stable life and are unwilling to change their existing lifestyles. Finally, inclusive policies have had a negative impact on coffee farmers' production enthusiasm, as they become dependent on government assistance rather than achieving self-sufficiency. To improve the coffee industry and economic development in Yunnan's Baoshan region, the study offers several recommendations. Firstly, there is a need to strengthen basic education to enhance the overall quality of villagers. Secondly, vocational education should be enhanced to provide coffee farmers with more specialized knowledge to improve their work efficiency. Additionally, there should be an emphasis on social support to help young villagers overcome social issues and low self-esteem. Finally, it is essential to widely promote and celebrate the local coffee culture, enabling villagers to find value in their work and increasing their pride in their profession and identity.


Yunnan coffee industry; Economic Inequalities

Cite This Paper

Suni Sunny Rui. The Coffee Farmers Who Don't Drink Coffee—An Anthropological Study on Economic Inequalities in Baoshan, China. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2023) Vol. 6, Issue 23: 36-41. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2023.062306.


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