the paman ("Uncle") dean project provides water buffalo to farmers in sumatra


Over beer and food, the farmers came up with a great way to address labor shortages on their farms in northern Sumatra, as well as the lack of and high cost of organic fertilizer. They figured that water buffalo could provide the fertilizer while keeping the weeds down. Thus was born the Paman ("Uncle") Dean project. We provided the water buffalo, built its housing and the farmers monitored its "output" and its effect on the plans in a controlled manner. The project was successful and we supplied five additional buffalo through donations from other Cooperative Coffee members. The project continues in a self-sustaining manner (meaning that the buffalos are breeding and creating their own little Paman Deans for the future). We have since been asked to expand the program, and it continues as a great example of how the farmers can figure out creative farm management solutions to problems from their own skill and knowledge.

Cooperative Partner


Time Period

2009 - 2016

Money Committed by Dean's Beans


Current Status

  • Farmer-generated idea
  • Water buffalo are now reproducing