meet the producers

Paving the road to change

By February 24, 2018 No Comments

Cud Lie Mngong Fairtrade Agriculture Cooperative, Vietnam

Some 50 kilometers away from the Bou Ma Thout airport in the Dak Lak province lies a coffee-growing village called Cudliemnong in the central highlands of Vietnam. Here, 117 households have come together to form the Cud Lie Mnong Fairtrade Agriculture Cooperative (CUDLIEMNONG). They are all smallholder farmers, with land holdings ranging from 0.5 to eight hectare.

The Fairtrade Premium has been invested in a road that connects the cooperative to the market

The 119 farmers produce some 900 tons of Robusta coffee, of which 400 tons are sold on Fairtrade terms. Inclusion is weaved in to the fabric of the cooperative. Nineteen of the families here are part of the minority group. Women, minorities, and youth have equal rights. The community began to see change when in early 2008, coffee processing company, the Dakman Company, began to work with the farmers on improving the quality of the coffee. one year later the group became Fairtrade-certified as well.

Smallholder farmers are growing robusta coffee

By coming together as a cooperative, the farmers are reaping benefits as a community. All of them receive Fairtrade Premium and invest it in community development projects such as farm equipment, seeds and fertilisers, input costs that are often expensive for farmers. The premium money has also gone towards laying a road that connects the town to the market and building a primary school.

Smallholder farmers are growing robusta coffee

Educating their children is also now a priority. Mr. Dang Que owns three hectares of land where he grows coffee, pepper, pulses, and fruits. For him, it was important that his children receive education, and now the eldest is working, while another is graduating in pharmacology and the youngest is in primary school. Similarly, Mr. Nguyen Viet Soa, who has two hectares of land where he grows coffee and papaya, has educated all of his five children. Mr. Hao, the co-operative’s president and also a NAPP member, is setting an example. His children, who have graduated in business and social science, work at the cooperative.

Cud Lie Mnong is an example of agriculture that can be profitable and sustainable, both for the land and the farmers and their families.

Contributed by Meenakshi Gairola

Leave a Reply