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Coffee helps remote family banish poverty

Growing rice was difficult and unsuitable to improve living standards for Mr Bounkuay Manyvong's family, so they instead decided to grow coffee to sell which was the right job for them to earn money.

Encouraging commercial crop production nationwide is a government policy to help everyone move out from poverty, including Mr Bounkuay's family, who live in Jounla village, Thataeng district, Xekong province.

Growing coffee in Mr Bounkuay's garden helps him earn money and improve his living standard.

Mr Bounkuay's family grew rice for sale and personal consumption for more than ten years, but this was insufficient and could not improve their standards for the better, the same as many families.

He said that his family did not know what to do and had no idea how to improve their living conditions.

Then in 2001, their lives changed with the introduction of the government policy to support commercial crop production. Land in Thataeng district was suitable to grow coffee, so his family joined the project to grow quality coffee on their seven hectare property.

The project helped provide coffee seedlings, so he used nine million kip of his own money to clear the five hectare area and grow coffee, which he started harvesting three years later.

His family earns about 30 to 40 million kip per year by selling coffee, which has helped him buy more land to grow coffee. Now he grows coffee on a 10 hectare area.

He said his family has improved their living standards step by step since they stopped growing rice and grew coffee instead.

Mr Bounkuay's family did not have much knowledge or experience in growing coffee, but he said that it was not difficult because he received advice from project officials and technicians from the Agriculture and Forestry office in Thataeng district.

He also learned from books and by asking other people in the community who had experience growing coffee.

He said it was not too difficult to grow coffee if people were hard working and patient.

Mr Bounkuay added that initially everyone in his family had worked hard because they had many things to prepare but now it was more convenient because his coffee trees could be harvested so it was just a matter of maintaining weeds and using chemical-free fertilizer.

Each day he must get up early to look out for pests that destroy his coffee trees, but he stays happy because the fresh morning air helps him to relax.

Mr Bounkuay's family has had great success growing coffee so they have become models in the community.

Now he is experienced growing coffee he is ready to give advice to other people because it will help everyone in the community have better living standards, like his family.

He plans to buy more land to grow coffee because it is g ood job for his family to earn money and his children can continue to do this job in the future.

Now he has a happy life with money in the bank and can send his two children to study at university.


By Times Reporters
(Latest Update July 15 , 2017 )

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