University in Yunnan Province launches China's first coffee major

2024-07-03 22:16:26Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Yunnan Agricultural University has successfully applied for the establishment of China's first Coffee Science and Engineering major, becoming the first institution in the country to offer undergraduate training in coffee-related knowledge.

This groundbreaking initiative has captured the attention of the public, especially high school graduates who are currently navigating the challenging job of selecting a university and choosing a major.

State-owned broadcaster CCTV reported last week that one student surnamed Ding from the university was promoting the university's new coffee major. He enthusiastically recommends the program, highlighting the unique opportunities it offers for students to learn about tropical fruits, self-cultivation, and the exciting new field of coffee science and engineering. 

But what exactly does this major entail?

Students enrolled in the major of the Tropical Crop School at the university will study a diverse range of subjects. The curriculum includes foundational courses in food science and engineering, as well as specialized classes such as coffee flavor chemistry, coffee processing, roasting, and cupping, along with practical training in engineering and skills development.

Located in Pu'er city, Yunnan, known as the "Coffee Capital of China," the program leverages the region's similarities to the ancient forests of the Ethiopian highlands, the birthplace of coffee. The major aims to address the current shortage of coffee industry professionals in China.

According to Yang Xuehu, the dean of the Tropical Crop School, the program not only focuses on specific aspects of coffee production but also provides a comprehensive education covering the entire industry chain. This holistic approach ensures that students are well-prepared for a wide range of career opportunities within the coffee sector.

With the coffee industry in Yunnan transitioning from extensive cultivation to high-quality production, the demand for skilled professionals is on the rise. Over the past two years, the percentage of premium Yunnan coffee has increased from less than 8 percent to 22.7 percent, while the rate of deep processing has risen from under 20 percent to 56 percent. By 2024, it is projected that 30 percent of Yunnan coffee will be premium grade, with 80 percent undergoing deep processing. 

The latest reports on the coffee industry in China indicate a rapid growth trajectory. By 2023, the coffee industry in China reached 265.4 billion yuan in size, with projections for 2024 reaching a value of 313.3 billion yuan. Given the current scale of the industry, there is a significant shortage of secondary and tertiary sector professionals, highlighting the urgent need for high-quality talent development

Looking ahead, the coffee major will focus on nurturing versatile professionals with expertise in coffee cultivation, processing, cultural appreciation, and innovative research and development capabilities. By equipping students with a comprehensive skill set, the program aims to meet the evolving needs of the coffee industry and may drive innovation in the field.


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