Coffee production in Vietnam is at risk due to looming water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, while irrigation is crucial for coffee production in Vietnam. This has an impact on global coffee prices, farmer incomes, rural economic growth, trade balances and global coffee consumption. The “Water Footprint of Coffee Production in Vietnam”-project is a Swiss contribution to the water Footprint Concept, its development and application. The WFP project Vietnam contributes to the understanding of the water consumption for the production of coffee in general and in the specific situation of Robusta coffee in Vietnam to assess in which ways water consumption can be rationalized and optimized as well as the impact on water quality improved.
Objective: strategies and tools to reduce water footprint of coffee production in Vietnam.Location: Dak Lak Province (Central Highlands) contributes 40% to the national coffee production, providing main income for over 200,000 smallholders families (or 800,000 people). Relevance: Vietnam is the largest Robusta coffee producer in the world; Robusta coffee in Vietnam needs irrigation between Jan and April.Irrigation is key, but water resources are limited and producers lack knowledge on irrigation timing and volume.Climate change forecast predict longer dry season and reduced water availability; heavier precipitation events and increased humidity in the rainy season.
Research of the project reconfirmed that it is possible to reduce the coffee water footprint while maintaining or increasing coffee yield through better irrigation scheduling and agronomic practices. Recommendation: 400l/plant/round is 40% lower than the irrigation volume locally recommended and 60% lower than the volume applied by an average farmer without access to training Assuming 500,000 ha of irrigated Robusta in VN – potential water savings: 1 BCM (= 40 million peoples annual household consumption). Ver mas
Sra. Eileen Hofstetter,
Program Manager, Swiss Agency for Development
and Cooperation (SDC)

The project was jointly initiated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) (Global Program Water Initiatives) and Nestlé; and is carried out by Embden Drishaus & Epping Consulting (E.D.E. Consulting) in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute (IMWI) and the Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (WASI) in Vietnam.