Farm households in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak are applying wet processing technology for coffee beans – the world’s most modern technology – to ensure premium quality.

Funded by the Vietnam Challenge Fund (VCF), this project is part of the Make Markets Work Better For The Poor Phase 2 (M4P2) project, sponsored by the Asian Development Bank and the UK’s Department of International Development.

Despite being the world’s second largest coffee exporter, Vietnam’s coffee for export is crude and unprocessed and that contributes to a low profit. For this reason, Vietnam’s ability to adjust prices in international coffee markets remains limited.

Besides improving coffee quality, this project also helps raise coffee prices and the local coffee-growing household’s incomes. At present, the whole country has over 550,000 households whose incomes are from coffee growing and about two million people rely on coffee for their livelihood.

Buddhika Samarasinghe, Head of the M4P2 advice group, said that if successful, this model will be expanded to many regions nationwide, resulting in a significant impact on the lives of the poor in rural areas.

Operated since late 2009, VCF provides capital to poverty reduction projects in Vietnam, helping raise poor people’s incomes in rural areas across the country./.