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Training courses on sustainable agriculture for coffee and tea farmers

Introduction YPARD Vietnam has organized two training courses, that gathered over 140 farmers, on 13-June for Coffee and 16-June 2012 for Tea farmers in Lam Dong province, Vietnam. These courses had done very successfully. Coffee and tea farmers were very happy and feel highly enthusiastic with the course. Lam Dong province is one of provinces that grow a lot of Tea and Coffee in Southern Vietnam. Tea and Coffee are some of industry trees that give high income for farmer in Vietnam. Nowaday, many tea and coffee farmers are young people. They are growing tea and coffee using cultivation techniques from experience of their father or their older people. They have very little information about sustainable cultivation. They have not known how to cultivate tea and coffee in the way for to keep sustained soil and friendly with environment. They are using very little organic fertilizer, using much chemical fertilizer. Therefore, the soil will suffer erosion/degradation in near future. These courses were an opportunity for farmers to expand their knowledge by interacting with other farmers in this local area as well as the participating tea and coffee researchers since tea and coffee is an important source for making high income. The purpose of training course was to train farmers how to cultivate tea and coffee in the good way and get high yield, for that the course showed them how to apply reasonable fertilizer, pesticide, fungicide, and recommend use more organic fertilizer, Bio-fertilizer. After the course, farmers, especially young farmers of tea and coffee have got some skills in sustainable cultivation as well as information about high yield and good quality of tea and coffee. Training course in Coffee The training course on coffee was held on 13th June 2012 at meeting room of Tan Nghia commune and coffee experiment field in Tan Nghia commune, Di Linh district, Lam Dong province. This course gathered more than 70 coffee farmers from many communes of Di Linh district. The local officer also attended this training course, such as leader of Tan Nghia commune, Mr. Chanh; agricultural officers of Tan Nghia commune, Mr. Long, Mr. Hai; head of Di Linh agricultural center, Mr. Duong Cui. The first presentation was given by Dr. Pham Duc Toan, YPARD Vietnam representative to open the training course and then was a presentation of Msc. Duong Thanh Lam. He presented about the overview of coffee cultivation in whole Lam Dong province, as well as Di Linh district. For that, coffee was grown in Lam Dong about 140,000 ha. Especially, Di Linh grew about 41,350 ha of coffee. A very interesting presentation was given by Professor Le Quang Hung, faculty of Agronomy, Nong Lam University. He is very expert in coffee and tea. Prof. Hung presented “Sustainable cultivation coffee in Bazan soil in Di Linh district, Lam Dong province”. It was very interesting that Prof. Hung showed a formula “2W3H”, that mean: What kind of fertilizer and bio-fertilizer to apply in coffee? When can we apply fertilizer, water and agro-chemical to coffee? How to apply? And then we will get High yield and High quality! Another presenter was Mr. Nguyen Quang Hiep, director of Binh Dien fertilizer company was one of donors for training course. Binh Dien company is one of famous fertilizer company in Viet Nam. Mr. Hiep presented some special fertilizer products for coffee tree have presented on fertilizer market in Viet Nam. Mr. Hiep showed farmer how to recognize good quality and low quality of fertilizer or bad fertilizer. That was very interesting presentation because bad fertilizer is now big problem with coffee farmers. Moreover, Dr. Toan presented about biodiversity in soil and how to do conservation of biodiversity. This presentation, Dr. Toan encouraged using more biofertilizer that might lead to sustainable farming and then adapt with climate change condition.   Training course in Tea For tea, the course was held on 16th June 2012 at meeting room of Loc Chau commune, and tea experiment field in Loc Chau commune, Bao Loc city, Lam Dong province. This course gathered about 70 tea farmers from many communes of Bao Loc city. The local officer also attended at this training course, such as Mr. Luu Hoang Ca, Bao Loc agricultural center. Dr. Pham Duc Toan opened the training course and then presented about the overview of tea cultivation in whole Lam Dong province, as well as Bao Loc city. For that, tea was grown in Lam Dong about 26,800 ha. Especially, Bao Loc grew about 9,150 ha of tea. Moreover, Presenter in this course was Prof. Le Quang Hung, Msc. Duong Thanh Lam, Msc. Le Van Thanh and Mr. Pham Van Hai. Prof. Hung presented about cultivation techniques for tea; Msc. Lam showed how to apply bio-fertilizer and Trichoderma into soil; Msc. Le Van Thanh and Mr Hai presented about bio-pesticide, fungicide and bio-fertilizer respectively. Visit to the field sites Participants were also invited to attend field visits. See pictures. Conclusion Overall, these training courses were a very good opportunity for farmers where they could learn techniques each other from their cultivation and to interact with other farmers as well as professional scientists. It has given farmers an opportunity to exchange new cultivation techniques in coffee and tea, and has also provided them with plenty of new ideas for sustainable cultivation in coffee and tea. Participants feedback Some questions and answers of farmers when they attended there courses: Why do you want to attend coffee training course? - Because in the pass I did not hear any about sustainable farming or sustainable agriculture. In this local area, we are only using cultivation techniques from our older people. For example, I am using techniques from my father and my grandfather. I don’t know sustainable farming by using biofertilizer or organic fertilizer that can lead to plant adapts with climate change condition. That is the reason why I would like to attend this course. What information do you get from this course? - Oh yes, many…many, a lot and a lot. I know how to apply biofertilizer and Trichoderma from Mr. Lam teaching. He showed very clear that I can do at my farm. I think with new techniques my farm will give more seed yield of coffee. How do you feel about surface soil at farm when you visit? - I saw that the soil more mellow I can feel the mellow when I walk on it. This mellow I could not see at my farm because I did not use any biofertilizer, organic fertilizer and Trichoderma   Local: Di Linh and Bao Loc district in Lam Dong province Time: 13rd and 16th June 2012 Presenters:    Prof. Dr. Le Quang Hung, professional lecturer in coffee and tea Msc. Duong Thanh Lam, lecturer in plant cultivation and encourage agricultural expansion Dr. Pham Duc Toan, lecturer in Biodiversity and conservation of genetic resource Msc. Le Van Thanh, expert in bio-fungicide and bio-pesticide Mr. Nguyen Quang Hiep, Mr. Pham Van Hai expert in bio-fertilizer   More pictures on Facebook YPARD Page!