Current situation and solutions to coffee consumption in Huong Hoa district

Monday - 11/04/2016 07:53
Current situation and solutions to coffee consumption in Huong Hoa district
Mr. Ho Van Vinh
Vice Chairman of Huong Hoa District People’s Committee
Coffee harvest farmers in Huong Hoa District (Quang Tri Province)
Huong Hoa is a mountainous border district, located on the west of Quang Tri province, the total area of natural land in the district is 115,715.97 hectares (accounting for nearly a quarter of the total natural land area of Quang Tri province). Being a region with important strategic location for socio-economic development, Huong Hoa has advantages of developing the strategic industrial crops which contribute to the district’s economic development.
Among industrial crops, coffee is the main crop of Huong Hoa district and accounts for a large proportion of the total value of the whole district’s agricultural production. The coffee area in the district is 4,801 hectares which covers a harvesting area of 4,148 hectares with the average yield of 9 -10 tons fresh fruit per ha, and an output of 40,000 tons fresh fruit per year. This is an important local budget-collecting source which helps improve the lives of more than 40% of the population in the district, including farmers, coffee-producing, trading and processing companies.
However, quality, price, market for coffee consumption is of great interest to coffee-producing, processing and trading households. There have been unpredictable fluctuations in the purchasing price of coffee over the years, which greatly affects farmers’ issues in investing and caring coffee, for example, Crop year 2010 - 2011: purchasing price from 9,000-13,000 Vietnam dong (VND) per kilo of fresh fruit; Crop year 2012 - 2013, price fell to only 4,000-6,500 VND per kilo of fresh fruit; Crop year 2014 - 2015: expected price from 8,500-10,000 VND per kilo of fresh fruit.
In order to improve quality as well as ensure effectiveness and sustainability of coffee production and trading in the district, post-harvest activities are considered as critical stages; To restrict the low-quality harvesting coffee such as mixed green or water-soaked coffee berries, and the impurities of coffee berries affecting goods quality and price. Therefore, Huong Hoa District People's Committee issued the Directive No. 03/CT-UBND dated 16th November 2011 regarding coffee purchasing and processing; Official Letter No. 393/UBND-VP dated 23th November 2011 regarding the registration of licence issuance for agents which purchase and are committed to purchasing good-quality coffee beans, in order to build brand and expand domestic and international markets.
Implementing Decision No 80/2002/QD-TTg on “the policies to encourage consumption of agricultural commodities by contract”; in order to promote the linkages between farmers and market, creating sustainable development for agricultural production, government agencies and departments as well as local authorities have provided local residents with extensive propaganda contents of the Directive and received high appreciation from the local people. Most of the local coffee-processing agents only purchase good-quality coffee (with 90% ripened beans or more). Coffee quality is guaranteed, which gradually stabilized coffee farmers’ income, thereby encouraging coffee farmers to invest in intensive farming, expanding farming area and increasing productivity. Enterprises and processing facilities have the quality control, technological innovation, modern equipment investment in processing procedures, therefore, increase profits and competitiveness in order to maintain Khe Sanh coffee brand of Huong Hoa district. Currently there are about 15 coffee processing facilities and enterprises in the district meeting the local requirements of coffee purchasing and processing. Coffee is purchased primarily through dealers and individual collectors, among which Dai Loc limited company and and Minh Tien limited company directly export to foreign markets, the others just sell parchment coffee and green coffee to local export companies or enterprises in the central highlands and Hanoi.
However, the coffee production and processing in Huong Hoa district still faces many difficulties. That is, there still exists a loose link between farmers and businesses, the contracts of production and consumption of agricultural products between farmers and businesses are superficial, hence the results are not high. The reason for contract breach is due to the fact that the market price at the time of signing the contract is usually lower than the price at the time of delivery, as a result, farmers often sell them out. Besides, the products’ nature the business capacity also have an effect on the contract performance.
Species structure and coffee quality have not been improved, intensive farming and renovation of coffee plantations with expired business cycle have not been properly invested. The quality of export coffee has not met the market demands, due to excessive harvesting of green coffee berries and immediate profit that some farmers find many ways to lift weights of coffee such as soaked in water, mixed impurities; thereby adversely affecting the quality of Khe Sanh coffee in particular and Vietnamese coffee in general in the world’s market. In addition, price pressure condition, painting purchase or sale; Coffee price instability makes it difficult for coffee farmers. Resources of the business acquisition and processing coffee in the province did not meet the demand resulting work product consumption for people limited and inadequate. Some businesses and processing facilities are lack of investment in treatment systems for waste water, solid waste (coffee husk) which have a negative impact on the environment as well as people’s lives and production.
On the other hand, a large area of the coffee plants in Huong Hoa (Quang Tri) was planted in the period of 1990-1991. Up to now the average life expectancy has been more than 20 years whilst the most efficient exploitation cycle of coffee plants is about 12 to 15 years. Due to being grown long ago, many coffee areas now become old and produce markedly lower quality and productivity of coffee beans. An urgent need is to quickly demolish and replace aging coffee plantations with new ones. But a "bottleneck" at present for most farmers who want to replant coffee is shortage of capital and technical re-cultivation.
To improve the quality and make sure the coffee production and trading in the area are efficient, and sustainable and towards coffee branding for Khe Sanh, Huong Hoa. In the future, Huong Hoa district will continue to implement and carry out some tasks and solutions such as:
To create consensus between farmers and enterprises to promote efficiency in the contract of production and consumption of agricultural products. Such consensus must come from the demand for stable production and trading of mutual parties: For enterprises, to have stable and increasingly expanding consumer markets, to have branded goods, hence, businesses need to seek a good source of raw materials for processing quantitatively and qualitatively for market sustainability and business development; For farmers, to reorganize production towards commercial production scale in order to meet the market demands, thus, farmers should cooperate with businesses to take advantage of the stable resources and production development.
To maintain and ensure the existing coffee acreage, invest in renovating coffee plantations with expired business cycles; to encourage transformation into cultivation of coffee crop varieties with high yield, high quality and pest resistance. To enhance inspection and strict management of coffee harvesting, purchasing and processing in the district.
To enhance industrial promotion, to guide, encourage and support farmers and businesses to invest in processing, preserving, and improving the quality of post-harvest coffee. Party committees, departments, agencies and related organizations should regularly encourage farmer households to be interested in intensive farming, to increase productivity, to ensure the coffee quality, not to harvest immature coffee for higher weight due to immediate benefits, not to let coffee grow old, etc.
Coffee processing companies should invest in upgrading their processing facilities, arranging an appropriate purchasing network, building a material area of coffee, signing a purchasing contract of products with farmers, ensuring harmonious interests between enterprises and farmers, avoiding arbitrary assessment which causes damage to farmers; meanwhile not allowed to purchase immature and low-quality coffee beans.
To continue providing guidance on the implementation of supporting activities for coffee consumption through a contract according to the Decision No. 80/2002/QD-TTg dated 24th June 2002 of the Prime Minister; Circular No. 77/2002/TT-BNN dated 28th August 2002 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development regarding the sale contract form of agricultural commodities. To implement the linkage among "four groups" (government, scientists, businesses and farmers) in the production, processing and consumption of agricultural products.
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the relevant departments should enhance the management of production and trading of agricultural materials, as well as provide guidance on a list of pesticides, fertilizers, seeds to ensure the quality of input materials for coffee production to be effective, safe and environment-friendly. The banking sector continues to provide support on credit interest rate for organizations, individuals producing, processing and trading coffee. Loan priority should be given to households who need re-cultivating and renovating coffee plantations.
In order for farmers and businesses to form a sustainable, objective and well-functioned link according to the market economy, it is required that businesses and farmers nowadays must have sufficient production and trading capacity in the context of globalization and international economic integration. Thus, the state should provide support and create favourable conditions for farmers and businesses to enhance their competitiveness in the market, especially in today’s export market.

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