Changes brewing in coffee industry

The coffee industry is restructuring itself to raise productivity, quality and value, according to the Viet Nam Coffee and Cocoa Association.

A farmer harvests coffee. The coffee industry is restructuring itself to raise productivity, quality and value, according to the Viet Nam Coffee and Cocoa Association.

A farmer harvests coffee. The coffee industry is restructuring itself to raise productivity, quality and value, according to the Viet Nam Coffee and Cocoa Association.

Under the programme, the area under coffee is being kept at 600,000ha and there is a focus on planting new trees with higher productivity and quality, Luong Van Tu, the association’s chairman, said.

The industry would work to increase exports of processed coffee to achieve revenues of US$5-6 billion by 2030, he said.

That would mean increasing the ratio of processed coffee from the current 10 per cent to 30-40 per cent.

Speaking at a seminar titled “Future Development of Viet Nam Coffee Industry towards 2030”, Doan Xuan Hoa, former deputy director of the Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Products and Salt Production, said the coffee industry has developed strongly in the last 10 years, exporting 1.2-1.5 million tonnes worth $1.7-1.8 billion a year and accounting for 15-20 per cent of the country’s agricultural exports.

Viet Nam is the world’s second largest coffee exporter and leads the world in robusta production and export. But the exports remain in the form of unprocessed beans with little value addition.

The industry is facing several problems like small scale of production, ageing coffee trees, poor quality control, and outdated processing technologies.

Some 140,000-160,000ha need to be replanted in the next five to 10 years, a big challenge for the industry, he said.

Le Van Duc, deputy head of the Crop Production Department, said in 2014-15 the five provinces of Lam Dong, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, and Kon Tum, the main coffee growing areas, worked to replant more than 61,700ha.

The figure is expected to reach nearly 80,000ha this year, he said.

Truong Hong, director of the Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute, said new coffee varieties play an important role in ensuring Viet Nam’s coffee industry develops sustainably.

The new varieties help improve yields, quality and economic efficiency, and increase the co-efficiency of using water and fertilisers and protect the environment, he said.

Delegates at the seminar proposed several measures for the industry to develop in a sustainable manner, like investing in processing technologies to add value to coffee products and developing linkages between producers and processing companies.

Local authorities should review coffee zoning plans and switch crops where productivity is poor, Hoa said.

The industry’s sustainable development would require more financial support and credit policies from the Government, he said.

According to the International Coffee Organisation, the bean requires relatively specific climatic conditions to thrive.

As the world heats up and extreme weather events become more frequent, these specific climatic conditions are likely to become more scarce, it said.

These developments would require countries to implement co-ordinated mitigation and adaptation strategies to continue producing quality coffee, it said.

This is an issue that needs to be tackled jointly to ensure that coffee remains a viable crop, it said.

This is why it is so important for countries to plan ahead, and to have a strategy for sustainable coffee production in the long term, it added. — VNS

Link and

Tram wins titles, record in regional swimming champs

Nguyen Diep Phuong Tram of Viet Nam won four gold medals and set a record at the first day of the Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championship in Thailand yesterday.

Image result for nguyen diep phuong tram

Tram, 15, from HCM City won two titles in the relay events and two individual categories. She set a new competition record in the women’s 100m backstroke with a time of 1min 4.65sec.

She also pocketed silvers in the 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

Other Vietnamese athletes secured 10 golds, 10 silvers, 12 bronzes and three records. They top the ranking table.

Thailand and Indonesia are second and third, respectively.

The tournament for swimmers from 13-18 years old will continue until December 11.


Link and

Vietnam in group 2 at AFC Asian Cup

The Asian Football Confederation has announced the seeds for the draw of the last qualifying round of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Viet Nam are in Group 2 with Palestine, Tajikistan, India, China’s Hong Kong and Turkmenistan.

Viet Nam are in Group 2 with Palestine, Tajikistan, India, China’s Hong Kong and Turkmenistan.

Group 1 consists of Jordan, the Philippines, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Oman and Bahrain. Group 3 includes Lebanon, Maldives, Yemen, Chinese Taipei, Afghanistan and Myanmar, while Malaysia, Singapore, Campuchia, Bhutan, Guam and Kuwait are in Group 4.

The draw will take place on January 18 next year. The competition is scheduled to begin on March 28.

12 teams earned official tickets to compete in the event’s final round, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Australia, Thailand and Iraq.


Link and

‘Finland 100 years’ to be celebrated in Vietnam

A range of activities showcasing nearly four decades of development co-operation between Finland and Viet Nam will take place across the country as part of the “Finland 100 years” celebrations.

A forest information system has been developed in Viet Nam by means of Finland's support.

According to a report from the Embassy of Finland in Hanoi on Friday, “Finland 100 years” will be organised as a commemorative event to celebrate the 100th independence of the Northern European country next year, by the two countries to showcase future collaboration.

Viet Nam’s socio-economic development plans had achieved outstanding results including a complete education system reform, a stronger emphasis on environmental and climate sustainability, more involvement of the private sector in development creating conditions for start-up, and innovation of an eco-system development, said Ambassador to Viet Nam Ilkka-Pekka Similä.

The Finnish ambassador added that Finland had know-how and technology that were highly relevant to various priority areas of Việt Nam’s future development and hoped the two countries could boost such potential for their co-operation.

Among the events to take place next year was the celebration of thirty years of successful water co-operation history between the two countries with a workshop on Water and Sanitation Programme for Small Towns in Viet Nam, to be held in February.

About 41 water supply and waste water treatment schemes constructed over the past ten years will be handed over to the Government of Viet Nam, and new collaboration in water safety planning will be celebrated, said the report.

Finnish companies together with public entities will also participate in the VietWater Exhibition in November 2017.

Long-term co-operation in the forest sector will also be commemorated in February and March with Finnish, Vietnamese experts and companies to discuss forest resource and share data at a workshop on Forest Management Information Systems.

Sustainable management of natural resources and the promotion of green cities will be the topics of a tree planting event after Tết in which 100 trees will be planted in the city of Hà Nội together with the Municipality of Hanoi and Hanoian schools.

An innovation and start-up event organised in collaboration with the Finland-Việt Nam Innovation Partnership Programme will highlight successful co-operation in the sector.

The Vietnamese government recently awarded the Finnish government for long-term commitment and excellent results in the development of Viet Nam’s innovation system. Increasing co-operation in the education sector will also be highlighted during a demonstrative Finnish School Day and the launching of the Finnish K12 School in HCM City in the autumn. Ministerial visits in the sector are also expected.

Finland-related literature will be celebrated throughout the year. The best-selling book “Finnish Lessons 2.0” by Professor Pasi Sahlberg explaining the successful story of the Finnish education system is now available in Vietnamese.


Link and

Best weekend getaways near HCM City

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 1

Tre Viet is in Phuoc Luong hamlet, Phu Huu Village, Nhon Trach District, Dong Nai province.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 2

Guests can take part in different outdoor activities like rowing kayak, wood or bamboo boats, swimming, riding bike on the river.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 3

Guests can also enjoy a wide variety of inexpensive meals.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 4

Thuy Chau tourism site in Binh Thang ward, Di An District, Binh Duong province is around 20km from HCM City.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 5

It is perfect for camping and swimming.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 6

Thuy Chau is only opens on weekends and entry fees are very reasonable.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 7

Tu Phuong That Bao ecotourism site in Phuoc Huu Hamhet, Long Phuoc Village, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province is around 8km from Ba Ria City.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 8

It looks like a garden in the west region with rows of coconut trees and bamboo trees. Visitors can fish, hire rowing boats and hike along the many fruit orchards.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 9

Entry to the ecotourism site is free.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 10

Bang Lang Tim is situated in Hamlet 3, Phuoc Khanh Viallage, Nhon Trach District, Dong Nai province

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 11

It lies along the river.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 12

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 13

A tourism site along Binh My river in Binh My Village, Cu Tri District is around 20km from the centre of HCM City.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 14

Guests can join water activities such as rowing or swimming and visit the many fruit gardens along the river.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 15

Buu Long lies on Huynh Van Nghe Road, Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province. Covering more than 80ha, it is a marvellous place for picnics near Sai Gon.

best weekend getaways near hcm city hinh 16

Link and

Saigon told to brace for heavy rains, tidal flooding again this week

Just when you thought it was safe, the waters are forecast to come flooding back into the city.

Low-lying areas in Ho Chi Minh City have been warned to prepare for possible flooding over the next week, with heavy downpours and high tides forecast.

The National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Center said on Sunday that the after-effects from a low pressure zone and strong monsoon winds are likely to cause downpours in the southern region, including Ho Chi Minh City, between Sunday and Tuesday.

The tides, which are expected to be at their highest on Wednesday and Thursday, will cause water in the Mekong and Saigon rivers to rise quickly, the center said in a note.

The latest news comes after a historic downpour on September 26 rendered the city’s drainage system almost useless, causing flooding on at least 60 streets of up to 80 centimeters. Thousands of cars and motorbikes in basement parking lots were left stranded.

The rainfall was measured at 179mm that day, the highest since at least 1975.

A street in Ho Chi Minh City submerged after a heavy rain in October, 2016. Photo by VnExpress

A street in Ho Chi Minh City submerged after heavy rain in October 2016. Photo by VnExpress

Related news:

> Heavy rains turn Saigon airport to seaport

Link and

President meets armed forces voters in HCM City

President Tran Dai Quang (R) at a meeting with voters (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang on December 11 met voters from armed forces in Ho Chi Minh City, during which he lauded their responsible opinions as well as valuable proposals.

He noted that in 2016, Vietnam has seen many important achievements in socio-economy, culture, defence-security and external relations. However, the country has also faced newly-emerged crimes, including high technology crimes as well as traditional and non-traditional challenges, he said.

The President affirmed that the strengthening of defence-security is key for the success of socio-economic development plan and international integration of the country, which also requires for armed forces’ good preparation and readiness to safeguard of the country’s sovereignty, unification, territorial integrity in all circumstance.

He underscored that armed forces should focus on strengthening political education as well as fostering close relationship with people and loyalty to the Party, nation and people, while actively engaging in popularising Party and State’s law and policies and socio-economic development, poverty reduction and natural disaster response.

He highlighted the need for armed forces’ reform and higher training quality, along with accurate forecast of destruction schemes of hostile forces and their wrongful arguments.

President Tran Dai Quang clarified the significance of the building of armed forces as well as strong and pure Party organisations in armed forces, as well as the pioneer role of the forces in implementing the Party resolutions on Party building as well as in the fight against morality degradation.

During the meeting, the President answered to the voters’ questions on a number of current problems, including the slow issuance of legal documents that hinders the implementation of laws, while acknowledging their opinion on the need for specific regulations for the authority, equipment and tools to handle administrative violations.

He also agreed with voters’ ideas to integrate defence-security with socio-economic development in plans and strategies in specific fields, as well as the re-verification of major projects on defence-security and the defining of responsibility of individuals and collectives for loss of the projects.-VNA

Link and

Japanese firm to build waste-to-fertilizer plant in Hung Yen

Waste classification (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)

Hung Yen (VNA) – Japanese Kume Group plans to invest in a waste-to- organic fertilizer plant in Hung Yen, which is expected to help the northern province tackle waste problem and strengthen environmental protection, according to a local official.

Nguyen Van Phong, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said that Kume Group will work with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on its sponsorship to Hung Yen to construct the plant.

A pilot plant will be built to treat and classify waste and turn the waste to organic fertilizer, while guidance will be given to locals on how to classify rubbish, he said, adding that another huge plant will be construct after the pilot’s success.

Kume Group has also asked for support from the province, especially in researching the waste releasing situation in the locality as well as waste gathering for the plant.

Phong expressed belief at the feasibility and effectiveness of the project, pledging that the province will create optimal conditions for its implementation, especially in land use, clean water, infrastructure and power supply.

The province will back the soon construction of the small plant, while directing provincial departments and agencies to coordinate with Kume Group during the implementation of the project, stated Phong.-VNA

Link and

Indonesian police evacuates Jakarta’s outskirts due to bomb

Indonesian police evacuates people living near the house that was raided. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – The police of Indonesia evacuated people living in the outskirts of Jakarta on December 10 after discovering a bomb in a raid on suspected Islamic militants who were planning to attack the presidential palace.

Spokesman of the Indonesian National Police Boy Rafli Amar said people living within 300-metre radius of the house that was raided were evacuated.

The bomb was found in a cooker. Police explosive experts presented at the scene.

Two men and a woman were arrested. The spokesman added that the three are suspected to be members of a militant network involving a bomb-making establishment raided last month in West Java province.

Last month’s captured suspects planned bomb attacks in Jakarta, including the parliament building and the Embassy of Myanmar.-VNA

Link and

Top legislator wraps up visit to India

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan made a trip to Bodh Gaya city in Bihar State on December 11 as her last stop during her stay in India from December 8-11.

The same day’s afternoon, the Vietnamese top legislator and her entourage left India for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the 11th Global Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament from December 11-13.

The visit is made at the invitation of President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Saber Chowdhury and President of the Federal National Council of the UAE Amal Al Qubaisi.

The Vietnamese delegation’s participation in the Summit looks to promote the NA’s role and position at regional and global parliamentary forums and at the same time affirm the policy on gender equality pursued by the Party and State.-VNA

Link and

Czech activist re-elected as President of Czech-Vietnam Society

Marcel Winter speaks at a press conference in the Czech Republic (Source: VNA)

Prague (VNA) – The Czech activist, Marcel Winter, was re-elected as the President of the Czech-Vietnam Society (CVS) at the congress of the society, which convened in Prague on December 10 .

In his speech, Winter stressed that in the new tenure, along with implementing plans to boost friendship between the two countries’ people, the society will work with the Vietnamese Embassy, the Vietnamese Association and other organisations of the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic on social and charitable activities and cultural exchange, thus supporting overseas Vietnamese’s integration into the host country.

The CVS will recommend the Czech Republic’s authorised agencies to simplify visa granting process for Vietnamese labourers in the country, provide objective and accurate information about Vietnam for the Czech public and the Vietnamese community, and raise voice to protest misinformation about Vietnam in mass media in the Czech Republic.

In the last 20 years since he had connection with Vietnam, Winter made over 50 trips to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and other localities throughout the country.

In their official visits to the Czech Republic in 2015 and June 2016, respectively, Former President Truong Tan Sang and Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh hailed activities made by the CVS in general and Winter in particular to promote the friendship between the two peoples.

In 2016, the CVS organised a charitable programme to present gifts to poor children in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai, and activities related to Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty protection, and events concerning the Czech-Vietnam Labour cooperation.

Winter has writen hundreds of articles to provide information about Vietnam’s socio-economic situation for Czech businesses that are seeking investment opportunities in Vietnam.-VNA

Link and

Mekong Delta village full of migrants from central Vietnamese provinces

While the internal migrants may live in the Mekong Delta for decades, their thoughts are always with their homes in the central provinces, approximately 1,000 kilometers away.

While the internal migrants may live in the Mekong Delta for decades, their thoughts are always with their homes in the central provinces, approximately 1,000 kilometers away.

Nguyen Dac Khanh, 78, and Nguyen Trung Thanh, 50, who reside in Tan Hong District, Dong Thap Province, both hail from the central region, and can still vividly remember their ‘exodus’ more than fifty years ago.

The pair, along with some thousand others, mostly from the central provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai – the ‘Quang people’ for short – settled in the district’s Sa Rai Town more than five decades ago.

“In my father’s memory, everyone expected to die during the trip. No one could even see the outside as the car windows were covered with black cloths,” Thanh recalled.

Khanh’s life-changing journey toward the end of 1958 remains vividly imprinted on his mind.

Under the former regime, thousands of residents from the two central regions were sent to the Mekong Delta in a plan designed to develop new economic zones and remove revolutionaries from their bases.

“They did not take us straight here, but rather all the way to Cao Lanh [the provincial capital today]. The journey involved countless twists and turns to prevent us from recognizing the route,” Khanh recalled.

Born in 1907, Khanh’s father, Nguyen Dac Dai, was a revolutionary activist when he was rushed to Ba To District in Quang Ngai for treatment after contracting malaria in 1955.

Three years later, learning of Dai’s intention to resume his revolutionary activities in the forest, the former regime’s army held him and his whole family, as well as hundreds of other families, in a concentration camp before sending them to the southern province in 15 buses.

None of these 700 people, including Thanh’s paternal grandfather and father, knew where they were heading or what to expect.

Khanh was 18 years old then.

Do Van Anh, another settler whose ‘thickened’ accent is typical of those from the central provinces, has kept his carrying pole, a useful tool from his hometown, for dozens of years now as a memento and reminder of his descendants.

The migration of residents from the central provinces continued after 1975, when the country was reunified, and formed the current mixed community.

However, some decided to migrate for strange reasons.

Le Tan Tho, 56, said that he was orphaned at a tender age and worked hard to support himself well into adulthood.

Impressed with scenes featuring immense fertile paddies and rivers laden with fish from a famous Vietnamese film, he and his friend’s family decided to give it a try and made the move in late 1979.

The south-bound journey took them two weeks by train, coach, ox-drawn carriage and finally on foot.

After covering a staggering 1,000 kilometers, they reached the ‘promised land’ and started afresh.

Nguyen Dac Khanh's roof, which is rich in architectural traits from his hometown, Quang Ngai Province in central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Dac Khanh’s roof, which is rich in architectural traits from his hometown, Quang Ngai Province in central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“Most of the migrants fared well thanks to the weather in the first few years. Their crops, however, were ravaged by floods and pests in the years after, plunging them into hunger and untold hardship,” Tho recalled.

Daunted, many came back to their hometowns empty-handed.

“Only a few of them made it out alive as the area was densely wooded and riddled with predator-infested canals,” Khanh further recalled.

Most of these settlers have now managed to make a decent living or at least been able to provide their children with a proper education.

Truong Quang Hoa, 73, said he and several others had picked up agricultural practices from natives.

They can now grow three crops each year instead of one.

The elderly man added that one can tell when a person is from the central provinces simply by taking a look at the architecture of their house.

His dwelling, just like those in his hometown, boasts a low roof and sturdy walls.

The distinctive architecture is indicative of their reverence for the wrath of Mother Nature as the central region suffers the most storms and floods every year, though the elements are considerably less inclement in their adopted home.

The settlers have also held their traditional culinary delicacies and cultural practices close to their heart.

Sa Rai Town is home to around 30 shops serving ‘mi Quang’ (a Quang-style noodle specialty served with shrimp, pork, and chicken in broth).

Vo Van Chuong, 61, one of the shop’s owners, said that he runs the shop to cater to local demand and introduce the dish to visitors from around the country, as it is one of the hallmarks of his hometown, Quang Nam.

Number 92, as his eatery is named, is also a nostalgic reminder of the first two digits of vehicle registration plates used throughout Quang Nam.

Hai Nam, whose full name is Van Cong Dung, also embodies the distinctive features of the Quang people.

The 64-year-old recalled first setting foot in Tan Hong District in 1959, before returning to his home province, Quang Nam, where he got married.

Set on turning over a new leaf, he took his wife and children back to Tan Hong in 1980.

“I pay a visit to my hometown and relatives whenever I can, and keep telling my children to never forget their roots,” he said.

Four of his five children are now university graduates and have landed good jobs.

Hai Nam willingly gave his eldest son permission to work at Dung Quat Refinery in Quang Ngai, neighboring his home province, as a petrol engineer.

According to Pham Van Hang, chair of the Tan Hong People’s Committee, the Quang community has contributed considerably to the district’s socio-economic development.

Children of many settlers have carved out successful careers at agencies and companies across the region and in Ho Chi Minh City.

Link and