Coffee production in Vietnam heavily relies on irrigation.<br/>Photo: DEZA
Coffee production in Vietnam heavily relies on irrigation.
Photo: DEZA

19.04.2016

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A public-private development partnership between Swiss Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Nestlé in Vietnam illustrates that saving water isn’t just sustainable – it’s also profitable

The world is drinking more coffee, with demand likely to rise almost 25 per cent in the next five years according to the international coffee association. Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world and a leading Robusta coffee exporter.
 
Water demand has increased considerably in the Central Highlands of Vietnam over the past decades due to the considerable increase in coffee production. Coffee production in Vietnam heavily relies on irrigation during the dry season, mainly from groundwater, leading to numerous shallow wells running dry. This is posing threats to sustainability of local groundwater management and to Vietnamese Robusta coffee production at large.
 
In this context, a public-private development partnership between Nestlé (Nescafe) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) promotes water-smart coffee production with training of 50’000 farmers, scientific research and awareness raising initiatives for better water use to small holder farmers.

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