IDH and coffee companies have been supporting coffee farmers in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam to become climate change resilient, cost efficient, and reduce their carbon footprint. Through its landscape program in Vietnam, IDH, together with ACOM, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Olam Vietnam Ltd, SIMEXCO as well as JDE Coffee and Lavazza, has invested in farmer training projects including Farmer Field Book.
Across two provinces in the Central Highlands region in Vietnam, 900 farmers keep daily records of their farming activities, investments and returns as well as their production assets and their tree stocks. In Dak Lak Province 600 farmers are participating, in Lam Dong Province 300. At the end of the coffee season each farmer receives a detailed farm economic report as well as a group report that allows the farmer to compare his or her performance with that of their peers. This report by Agri-Logic, a consultancy, details an aggregate quantitative analysis of the first year’s data of all participating farmers.
The report provides some interesting insights related to climate change resilience of coffee farmers:
- Farmers can reduce their carbon footprint by optimizing their fertilizer use. Nitrogen applications can be reduced, while potassium applications need to increase. Optimizing fertilizer use would also contribute to fertilizer cost savings for a large group of farmers. So pollution doesn’t pay off: the largest carbon emitting farmers are significantly less profitable as they tend to overspend on fertilizer.
- Agroforestry and/or intercropping lead to a higher income for farmers and it makes them more resilient to market risks than monocropping farmers. At the same time, the amount of coffee produced per farm is not significantly influenced by the level of crop & tree diversification, but by the farm size. Against this background the report concludes that a more diversified farming system is in the interest of coffee traders. Supply availability is not affected, while farmer resilience to price shocks is improved.
- The level of tree and crop diversification is not significantly influencing the amount of water farmers use for irrigation. However, better water-use measurement tools that are currently being implemented as part of the field-level projects could provide more accurate data and hence change this finding.