Lac Duong – In 2016, Thao Nguyen initiated the Chappi Mountains coffee project in Tu Poh village where 95% of the population was K’ho ethnic minorities. Rural communities posed capital, talent, and connectivity challenges to Thao. With strong determination, she was persistent in becoming a sustainable coffee business that can improve its coffee quality and the lives of over 43 farming families in this vulnerable village.
In 2019, another female-led coffee enterprise Yu M’Nang offered hope for more sustainable coffee-growing practices in rural regions of Lac Duong. K’Cham was a K’Ho Cil who saw the potential of high-quality Arabica coffee, so she persuaded her family, neighbors, and other members of the village to deliberate water management and fertilizer use to produce healthier beans. K’Cham founded Yu M’Nang with a small coffee roaster machine, but as she encouraged these farmers to pick red ripe cherries, K’Cham helped them escape the tight situations of low-price poor-quality coffee.
SNV’s capacity-building training series for small coffee enterprises in Lac Duong.
To unlock the potential of small impact-driven coffee enterprises in rural regions like Chappi Mountains and Yu M’Nang, the IKI BMUV-funded Coffee Agroforestry and Forest Enhancement for REDD+ (Café-REDD) Project led by SNV Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) Vietnam has been providing capacity-building training on sustainable coffee production. In addition to the improvement of producers’ skills and knowledge, SNV supported them with fertilizer inputs, seedlings, and equipment necessary to transition toward shade-grown coffee agroforestry systems.
“Around 2020, SNV provided our village with a productive coffee bean peeling machine that enabled us to employ the wet processing method, guaranteeing a clean and consistent flavor of coffee,” said K’Cham. “SNV also invited experts in branding to reinvent our packaging and connected us with prospective buyers through cupping events. Recently, we were also trained in incorporating a digital traceability system in our manufacturing process. Although this is all new to me, the project has helped us in various ways to grow our business and support families in Da Sar to earn better income. This gives me confidence in pursuing sustainable coffee and great hope for the future of our commune.”
An Incubator/Accelerator Fund established to strengthen market access, value chain, and job creation for small and medium agricultural enterprises in Lac Duong.
Upon IKI’s approval of the two-year extension for the Café-REDD project from 2022 to 2024, SNV is establishing activities in three new sectors: i) Impact driven finance mobilization; ii) Development of inclusive intercropping value chains; iii) Women’s economic empowerment. To drive more responsible, sustainable, and inclusive investment in the region’s agri-food sector, the project recently launched the Incubator/Accelerator Fund on 01 February 2023, aiming to build capacity for small and medium agricultural enterprises in Lac Duong.
The Incubator/Accelerator Fund will support a blend of financing new equipment and machine, innovating technologies, and branding & marketing training for local businesses to adopt and scale up sustainable practices. Anchor partners of the Fund are the Department of Agricultural and Rural Development and the Department of Science and Technology. With a strong support network of the public sector, the Fund can extend the reach of green investment in rural areas of the district.
“This EUR 80,000 fund will contribute to job creation and market access through the production, process, and trading of agricultural and intercropping products in Lac Duong, which can facilitate green growth and climate-resilient landscape restoration.” Nam Pham, the project manager of Café-REDD shared. “Our goal is to empower responsible enterprises driving a balance of economic, social, and ecological factors, who display a long-term commitment to support smallholder farmers and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
The Incubator/Accelerator Fund is fundamental to SNV Vietnam’s effort to contribute to SDG 8: decent work and economic growth, centering on job creation and entrepreneurship, particularly through micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, with positive environmental impacts. The Café-REDD Project commits its expertise and investments to economic empowerment in fragile and climate-vulnerable contexts, especially for women-led businesses within ethnic minority communities, in line with SNV’s Gender Equality and Social Inclusion commitments.
The Incubator/Accelerator Fund winners will be announced in April. The implementation process will begin from May until December of 2023. The project will support businesses to fulfill their commitment to sustainable production during and after implementation. This also opens an exciting opportunity to create a ripple effect for other enterprises, farm co-operatives, and farmer groups in the region to replicate these models and scale up their positive impacts in the long run.
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