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Okinawa Growers Association aims to make coffee a new signature product

Farmers in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa are trying to popularize homegrown coffee while the country mostly depends on imports for its coffee consumption.

Local farmers established a producers association in 2014, hoping to make coffee beans a new signature agricultural product of the island prefecture.

The association is set to market Okinawa coffee beans in Tokyo while hoping to leverage them to attract tourists.

Coffee beans are mainly grown in areas near the equator. Japan imports them from over 40 countries.

In Okinawa, coffee production, which requires a particular natural environment, such as adequate sunlight and temperatures, started about 100 years ago. But growing coffee beans stably is difficult in Okinawa, which is prone to typhoons.