Pham Van Hoan
Father of two children, Lam Ha. He hopes his son will take over his plantation.
I know about climate change from the training in the C3 [Coffee Climate Care] program. The weather used to be foreseeable, but it is not anymore. This is a big problem for the growth of coffee plants and a big problem for coffee production in the whole area.
Through C3 we now know where it comes from and what we can do to prepare the coffee plantations and try to minimize where we cause climate change ourselves. I have learned which measures I can take to deal better with the challenges we face. Those are for example cover crops; I plant cover crops at the side of the plot and leave the grass on the field against erosion. In the past I used to clear the plot, now I only cut the weeds before fertilization. This brings nutrition to the plants and lowers the temperature of the soil.
I am now planting shade trees. They are really important for Arabica trees. The coffee plants then get stronger and develop less secondary branches. My neighbors have seen this and now want to do the same, so I have opened a nursery for pepper seedlings to supply them. I have also changed the fertilization management. I had to hire additional labor for this, as I now apply the fertilizer much more targeted in drenches and I balance the NKP content so that it is adequate for the coffee trees.
The future of coffee farming in this region? Maybe the area of coffee production will be smaller in the future, or the productivity lower. This year has already been very tough, very dry. When Catimor flowers it needs a lot of water.
Tran van Tho
He is 56 years old and has two children, Lam Ha. He trains his cooperative members and other farmers in his municipality.
Over the last couple of years it has become easy to recognize climate change: There have been crazy rains, sometimes very heavy and heavy storms. This has directly affected farmers. Strong winds break flowers and fruits on plantations that don’t have shade trees or wind breaks. Heavy rains lead to erosion if there are no shade trees or cover crops.
We knew a little bit about climate change before the project, like that the sea level is rising, the temperatures increasing. But with the Coffee Climate Care project we now know the fundamentals of what causes climate change and it is very clear to us which adaptation practices we should implement: 1) windbreaks, 2) shade trees, 3) cover crops. I inform my farmers to do this and also other farmers in the community. Many already plant shade trees, wind breaks and cover crops. I am sure it will help us for the future. In this region we have good possibilities to adapt to climate change.
Nguyen Thu Truc
53 years old, he is a promoter farmer, Lam Ha.
In the last 2-3 years, the dry season was very hot. There were strong winds, heavy rains in a short time. The distribution of the rain was also not suitable for coffee. The biggest negative impact [of climate change] has been that pests and diseases stay for the whole year. In the past they were seasonal, but now they don’t die anymore.
[Through the Coffee Climate Care project] I learned how to cultivate coffee under the new conditions. Especially, I learned the benefits of using shade trees. They help to avoid a lot of things. I inform others in Farmer Field Schools, but also in meetings, for example, group meetings or village meetings. I talk about it daily and think that in 5 years all plantations here will have shade trees. Before the C3 project I knew a little bit about climate change, but I didn’t care.
Plantations that don’t use sustainable practices will not continue. I hope that they will learn and implement the right practices. Important practices are windbreaks and shade trees to control erosion. If we do this, it should be fine.