FIDR is a non-governmental organization working to support children in developing countries and people affected by disasters.

Community Development Project in Coffee Production Area, Son La Province

*This project is a part of the Sustainable Coffee Project, collectively conducted by Aeon Co., Ltd., supply chain companies, and NGOs.

Issues that the project tackles

Son La Province, located in the northwest of Vietnam, is an important production area of coffee, but has been trapped in poverty and left behind in national development. Its population consists mainly of ethnic minorities including the Thai. Due to their weak livelihood, a huge financial gap between them and the Kinh, the ethnic majority in Vietnam, is growing wider.

Background of the issues

Vietnam is the second largest country of coffee production in the world. Among all kinds of coffee cultivated in various areas of this country extending from north to south, the coffee from Son La Province in the northwest region has been attracting attention thanks to its excellent aroma in recent years.
Since the Vietnamese government called for coffee cultivation as a policy in 1994, the number of coffee farmers has drastically increased as well as the cultivation area. However, farmers have been vulnerable to exploitation at cheap prices due to the instability of the coffee market in addition to a lack of buyers to choose from.
90 percent of the people involved in agriculture in this region are an ethnic minority called the Thai. The Thai are a tribe which protects its traditional culture well by maintaining old practices. For example, women often affix complex hairstyles in which they braid their long hair into a shape similar to a hat.
Ethnic minority communities used to be mostly self-sufficient in each village, but the wave of globalization has swept that era away. As they have built deeper relationships with a monetized economy, these communities have run up debts to pay living expenses or purchase materials and equipment for farming. It is said that 30 to 40 percent of families in this group are in poverty.
Ethnic minorities need to increase their income through agriculture in order to cope with this situation. Using low input agricultural methods and then improving food processing techniques to add value to their products is an effective way to save costs and enhance food security.
In terms of other concerns in this region, we recognize the low literacy levels of women as well as the neglected houses in which some families live in. Not only for economic benefit, but also for improvement of their living condition do, we encourage them to learn better living skills. These issues are vital to ensuring sustainable community development.

Project Purpose

We aim to enhance the quality of coffee farmers' lives through improvement of their living condition and the introduction of low input agriculture in the Sustainable Coffee Project in Son La Province.

Project Site

Son La City, Thuan Châu District and Mai Son District in Son La Province, Vietnam
(Two communes in each city and district, six communes in total)


Residents (36,024 people, 8,957 households) including approximately 4,354 coffee farmers in one city and two districts in Son La Province, Vietnam

Main Activities

  1. Promote improvement of livelihood for coffee farmers
  2. Promote capacity building for community leaders and establish a backend support system in the community
  3. Promote low input agriculture
  4. Research on the coffee markets

Project Period

August 2021~July 2023 (Two years)

Our Approach

FIDR has been supporting community development and livelihood improvement for ethnic minorities in the central region of Vietnam for many years. We will utilize this experience to maximize the resources of the community and to achieve highly sustainable community development in the Son La Province.