The free coffee trees are obviously no free lunch and will commit potentially naive farmers to 3-4 years of hard work and waiting for the first pickings and cash.
There is no access to the forward market to lock in a return to their subsidized investment.
In Central America there are example of Starbucks- and other sponsored programs that have led the recipients of the free gift with very little economic options. Just a few manage to muster a premium.
Only the market can fix the "problem" (if any).
Both Malaysia and the neighbouring areas in Thailand are suited to produce Robusta coffee. Thailand used to be a significant exporter but production declined once the Vietnam market was opened in 1994. Today Thailand is a net importer (mainly for Nestle) and it seems delusional to assume that new farmers in Malaysia will do better than the farmers across the border that "recently" uprooted their coffee trees because they couldn't compete with imported coffees (despite the additional freight costs) and found more profitable crops or activities.
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