Cultivation, care & harvest
Coffee is grown on TLAN MAKAN as a mixed crop in combination with different tree varieties from all over the world. These provide a microclimate with specially created biotopes. Due to the altitude, there is always the risk of frost, which has a damaging effect on the coffee plant. Drought and erosion are also counteracted by the microclimate. Some tree varieties form a productive symbiosis with the coffee plants, which has a positive effect on yields.
In addition to mixed cultivation, rotary cultivation is of fundamental importance in coffee cultivation on TLAN MAKAN. For this purpose the coffee plants are radically cut back every five years. A yield is only possible again after three years. What seems like a disadvantage is an advantage in the long run. Due to the pruning, the coffee plants have a longer life and yield and do not have to be replaced after 15 years, as is usually the case. This corresponds to the philosophy of sustainable and resource-saving cultivation.
Sustainability and use of existing resources is also the determining credo for the deployment of manpower. These are recruited almost exclusively from the indigenous population of the surrounding area. At harvest time up to 2,000 helpers are deployed and find work on TLAN MAKAN. Although the workers are paid a good 30 % above average, the three to six months harvest time is not enough to feed their families the whole year. In a support program developed especially for TLAN MAKAN, many families receive up to one hectare of land for growing their own beans and corn. The land is made available to them free of charge and ensures that the families have a secure supply for the rest of the year.