Small-scale coffee farmer gets helping handLò Thị Phong from Chiềng Chung Commune in Mai Sơn District in the mountain province of Sơn La, has cultivated coffee for more than 10 years on 5,000 square metres of land, but she still finds life difficult.A decade seems long enough to improve farmining practices by trial-and-error, however, according to the middle-aged Thái woman, “even now, we still cannot keep proper financial accounts”.During discussions hosted by CARE International last week, stakeholders in the mountain coffee industry touched on deeper obstacles facing the industry.CARE has worked in Việt Nam since 1989, concentrating on supporting rights and sustainable development among vulnerable groups, particularly remote ethnic communities, poor women and girls and people vulnerable to climate change.Nguyễn Vĩnh Đức, deputy director of the Sơn La branch of the Minh Tiến Coffee Export Joint Stock Company, spoke on the drawbacks of small production in the development of local coffee. “Since coffee plantations in Sơn La are limited, farmers have not established co-operatives like those in the Central Highlands provinces of Đắk Lắk and Lâm Đồng,” he said.”Moreover, different techniques used by farmers to process their own beans leads to variation in quality, making it challenging for export companies,”…
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