Interview with Mr. Nguyen Van Chinh, a farming extension officer in Huong Hoa, Quang Tri, Vietnam. Mr. Nguyen Van Chinh used to be the Assistant Director of the Khe Sanh coffee farm. Now he is the representative of the Advancement of Community Empowerment and Partnership (ACEP) office of Central Vietnam. He used to train farmers in Huong Hoa on planting Coffea arabica.
Germinating is done between June and August (according to the solar calendar). This is the rainy season of Central Vietnam, so the seedlings develop quickly. At other times of the year, germination and growth wouldn’t be as good.
For commercial plant, the farmers need to plant a new crop every 16 – 18 years. Cutting is done once every 10 years.
The seeds are germinated in plastic bags, then transferred to nusery beds after 6 months. We don’t use grafting – scientists are still experimenting. Trials have been carried out in certain areas in Vietnam.
The commercial plants are kept at 1.5 meter, while the natural plants are very tall.
We only plant Arabica at the moment.
Yes. We plant “keo dau Cuba” (a type of timber species). We also plant other species to block wind from affecting the coffee plants – such as “Tram hoa vang” – a type of commercial species.
18 months from germination.
From September to December, by the picking method. Only the ripe berries are harvested.
They are sold to processing factories, where they are pulped, demucilated, dried and sorted.