Balancing Production Chains, Bridging Challenges: The Potentials of Coffee Tourism in Sarawak, Malaysia

Coffee production in Sarawak has been facing numerous challenges, such as low productivity, limited market access, lack of professional assistance, and poor production quality. In response, coffee tourism offers an alternative source of income for local farmers and creates opportunities to improve coffee quality and promote sustainable production practices. Through a qualitative case study design, this study purposively sampled eight local coffee producers and conducted semi-structured interviews with them to explore the potential of coffee tourism in Sarawak, Malaysia. The findings reveal that coffee tourism provides opportunities for growers to diversify their revenue sources, improve their knowledge and skills, and increase their market access. Additionally, coffee tourism can raise awareness on the different coffee varieties unique to Sarawak as well as the destination’s cultural heritage. The findings also highlight barriers to coffee tourism development in Sarawak, including limited infrastructure, inadequate government support, and lack of coordination among stakeholders. Addressing these challenges will require collaborative efforts among government agencies, coffee growers, and tourism stakeholders. Overall, this paper highlights the potential of coffee tourism as a means of balancing production and supply chains and bridging the challenges faced by coffee farmers to promote sustainable development in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Keywords: coffee production; coffee supply chain; coffee tourism; Sarawak; grounded theory

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