Café-REDD project fosters a sustainable digital agricultural ecosystem
After 5 years of implementation in Vietnam’s Lac Duong district, Lam Dong province, SNV’s Café-REDD project has successfully attracted active participation from partners, businesses, and coffee cooperatives. This initiative has not only cultivated a diverse and dynamic agricultural ecosystem but has also laid the foundation for a sustainable digital agricultural ecosystem.
Over the course of five years, the Café-REDD project has enhanced the capacity of district-level land use planning for the management officials in Lac Duong district. It has provided support in developing 15 land use plans for villages and communes.
The project also helps improve monitoring and traceability in the coffee supply chains of six businesses. It supports more than 3,000 farming households, improve their coffee production practices and transition towards a sustainable coffee-agroforestry system, as agreed upon in the memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the involved parties.
As part of the project, various models have been implemented to support the cultivation of intercropping trees, including forestry trees, following Lam Dong province's initiative to plant 50 million trees. This involves planting around 187,000 trees such as macadamia and persimmon, which are intercropped with an area of 1,048 hectares. Moreover, the project also supports activities to enrich forests, covering an area of 75 hectares. Additionally, efforts are made to renovate and replant coffee trees, utilizing over 497,000 seedlings, which is equivalent to nearly 100 hectares of land.
So far, the project has provided training and implemented a traceability system for 9 agricultural businesses in Lac Duong. This includes transferring integrated data for real-time forest monitoring, traceability systems, and farm map data, and integrating them into the Big Data system managed by the district.
Importantly, the Café-REDD project provides support for a forest-friendly coffee traceability and monitoring digital system that aligns with the requirements of the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), which aims to prevent the import of deforestation and forest degradation-related products into the European Union. This system covers an area of over 1,508 hectares and is specifically implemented for 2,720 coffee-growing farming households, ensuring compliance and suitability with the EUDR regulations.
According to Mr. Pham Thanh Nam, the project manager of Café-REDD, SNV actively collaborates with local authorities and relevant stakeholders throughout project implementation. The project's activities and outcomes are in line with the local agricultural restructuring and rural development objectives.
Mr. Nam shared, ‘The project has successfully involved responsible partners from the private sector, including specialty coffee processing companies, leading traceability technology firms, trusted seed suppliers, and innovative agricultural startups. It has also partnered with 16 coffee cooperatives and farmer groups, creating a diverse and dynamic digital agricultural ecosystem. By leveraging advanced technologies, the project ensures sustainability and environmental protection.’
According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Lam Dong province, SNV’s activities have always aligned with the actual needs of the province. Alongside improving policies and building the skills of local officials, SNV places emphasis on practical models that benefit both the community and residents while minimizing lengthy training sessions and workshops. Instead, the project focuses on implementing approaches that directly address the needs of the community and bring tangible benefits to residents.
SNV has a significant advantage in tailoring project areas and implementation activities to match the available financial resources. They place a strong emphasis on addressing social issues and prioritize the management of forest and agricultural land resources. This approach ensures that the projects are well-suited to the specific needs and capacities of the communities involved.
With the support of the Café-REDD project, significant advancements have been made in digitally mapping coffee cultivation areas and enabling traceability of forest-friendly coffee production in Lac Duong district. These digital initiatives align with the requirements of the EUDR. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Lam Dong province has suggested utilizing these achievements to connect and integrate them into the EU monitoring system, ensuring compliance with the regulations outlined in the EUDR.