Today’s blog from Dipika Chawla, our New York City-based Online Communities Coordinator, is the last in the series from her recent trip to meet with coffee farmers in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam.
The shade trees overhead provided welcome protection from the mid-morning sun as I and about 100 farmers gathered on a robusta coffee farm in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. We were attending a NESCAFÉ Plan farmer training session—the first of six that will take place over the next year. Delivering one portion of the training was a petite, middle-aged woman who wielded her megaphone and pointer stick with natural confidence. Despite her short stature, she easily commanded the attention of the large group of farmers before her, of which about 80% were men.
Her name was Phung Thi Huu, and she was the lead farmer from Cao Thang, a rural village in Vietnam’s Dak Lak province. She, along with several other lead farmers in the region, had been trained months earlier by Nestlé and the Rainforest Alliance as part of the NESCAFÉ Better Farming Practices (NBFP) training programme. She was responsible for training and managing 90 other farmers from her village. The day I was there, she was presenting the training material to a group of farmers from all over the Ea Kao commune, covering a variety of topics such as replanting, rejuvenation, grafting, pruning and harvesting. Read the rest of this entry ?