Son La farmers become well-off by growing coffee

Tran Long, Vinh Phong
Chia sẻ
(VOVWORLD) - Low-yield corn and cassava fields in the northern mountainous province of Son La have been converted to lush green fields of coffee. Thanks to suitable climate and soil, coffee has become a profitable crop for Son La farmers, many of whom have become quite prosperous.
Son La farmers become well-off by growing coffee - ảnh 1Son La farmers sells post-harvest coffee to traders. 

Coffee was first planted in Chieng Chung commune, Mai Son district in the 1990s. It has now become the main industrial crop and has increased per capita income in this ethnic minority commune.

Lo Van He was one of the first in Chieng Chung to grow coffee. Since then, his family’s standard of living has dramatically improved. His 2 hectares of coffee earn him about 9,000 USD a year.

These days people in Chieng Co commune in Son La City are busy harvesting coffee. Local resident Leo Thi Thao told VOV, “We used to grow corn and other unprofitable crops, earning very little money. Since my family switched to growing coffee in 2000, our lives have much gotten better. I now feel very confident about growing coffee.”

Nguyen Thi Xuyen’s family is among the households who were resettled to Chieng Yen hamlet in 2010. After a period of growing cassava and corn, Xuyen started growing coffee. Her 1-hectare coffee field is earning 4,500-7,000 USD a year.

“Growing cassava and maize wasn’t profitable because of bad soil. Later we started growing coffee which gives us higher productivity and more income” said Xuyen.

After 30 years, Son La city now has 5,000 hectares of coffee fields, with an estimated output of 40,000 tons worth 20.3 million USD. This is 46% of the total production value of major crops.

Ha Trung Chien, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, said that as soon as the coffee is harvested, it’s all sold.

Son La farmers become well-off by growing coffee - ảnh 2Multiple cooperatives have invested in modern equipment and machinery to improve production and processing.

A number of local coffee production and processing establishments has been granted the right to use the Son La coffee geographical indication, he said, adding that their products have been recognized as 5-star OCOP items and carry the Vietnamese agricultural gold brand.

Chien added, “In addition to ensuring the quality of the growing areas, we are paying special attention to the model linking businesses, households, and cooperatives to strictly control the coffee production process for the domestic and export markets.”

Enjoying a bumper harvest and good prices, this year's coffee crop promises to give farmers capital to invest in improving their product quality.

Overcoming the disadvantages of a mountain province, Son La farmers, with their self-reliance and creativity, are getting rich and contributing significantly to the local economy.