Coffee vs. Cacao: A case study from the Vietnamese Central Highlands.
World Food and Fiber – PSSC392
Case Study #1 Final Report
Introduction Dak Lak is the largest province in the Central Highland region of Vietnam. Due to its perfect climate, soil and topography for coffee production, Dak Lak’s economy is once based in agriculture and forestry with coffee cultivation the dominating industry. Despite signs of a long-term collapse in coffee prices, temporary profitable returns to coffee production and government schemes have encouraged many new coffee planters in the early 1990s (Ha & Shively, 2005). Large areas of forest land have been destroyed and converted for new coffee plantations. In addition, temporary price rises
…show more content…
The villagers and the council, Mr. Nam, search for alternatives and discover that cocoa can be an achievable possibility/alternative. Yet, alike many crops or plants, cacao also has its advantages and disadvantages. Positively, cacao, as a crop, is suitable for the environmental and ecological conditions in Dak Lak (Ha & Shively, 2005). Cacao typically requires less water than coffee does, thereby water usages significantly decreases. In addition, cacao can tolerate wind, thus making cacao an ideal crop to plant in a forested area, like Dak Lak (Ha & Shively, 2005). Advantages of cacao plantation can further encourage farmers to replant some domestic trees that they have removed to expand their coffee crops. While being intolerant to wind, cacao is shade-tolerate; thereby making cacao an ideal crop in a heavily wooded environment. Cacao thrives extremely well with humidity and requires only natural soil. In term of profit, farmers would not have to search for buyers for their harvested crops because a foreign exporter has guaranteed to buy large quantities of cacao from them.
However, each plant or crop has its advantages as well as disadvantages. As a biggest drawback, cacao requires multiple usages of fertilizers throughout its life cycle; this can become costly to many farmers. Alike coffee, herbicides are