Dak Lak with Sustainable Coffee Development

10:05:38 AM | 26/5/2010

Coffee trees were cultivated in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak very early and local natural conditions are suitable for this crop. Buon Ma Thuot city is known as the "coffee hub” of Vietnam.
Sharp rise in productivity and output
Coffee production has been growing strongly. In 1975, Dak Lak had only over 3,700 ha of coffee; the area grew to 15,000 ha by 1985. In 1990, coffee growing area reached 76,000 ha and now is around 180,000 ha. The province’s average annual coffee output is estimated at 430,000 tonnes of unprocessed coffee, 15,000 tonnes of coffee and over 1,000 tonnes of instant coffee.
Along with sharp increase in area growth, thanks to the application of intensive farming methods, coffee productivity in Dak Lak has also sharply increased. Before the 1990s, average output of 1ha of coffee was estimated at 800-900 kg of coffee beans but the figure reached 1,850 kg/ha in 1994 and 2,500-2,800 kg/ha at present. In several cultivation areas, average output reached 3,500-4,000 kg/ha and coffee gardens of several local households reached 5,000 kg/ha.
The strong development of coffee in Dak Lak in terms of area, productivity and output has boosted the province’s socio-economic growth. However, it has resulted in problems in land planning, ecological imbalance and variety quality, affecting the sustainable development of coffee.
Currently, along with the market integration and development, Vietnamese coffee and Dak Lak in particular are affected by global price instability. Coffee prices often change due to weather and the prices of materials, fuels, fertilizer and pesticides. Coffee prices are also affected by speculation, causing difficulties for growers.
To create sustainable coffee development, Dak Lak will ensure productivity, output and quality of coffee to boost its socio-economic development along with environmental protection and social order.
Accordingly, sustainable coffee development is showed in the following aspects: suitable cultivation area, high productivity and good quality, contributing to developing the rural environment and raising income for farmers; enhancing cooperation among the state, scientists, farmers and enterprises and using natural resources to protect the environment; developing coffee and provincial socio-economic development in the context of global economic integration.
Dak Lak aims to develop coffee with the trademark “Buon Ma Thuot coffee”; linked to the social, cultural and tourism development and environmental protection.
Coffee has been cultivated in Vietnam since 1857 and the country had 5,900 ha by 1930. The coffee area climbed to 20,000 ha by 1975. After 1986, when Vietnam reformed its economy, coffee cultivation developed strongly, particularly Robusta in the Central Highlands. Currently, the nation has 500,000 ha of coffee with a total output of 850,000 tonnes, generating export revenue of over US$1.8 billion per year.
Duy Hanh