My name is Ya Hoa and I’m a farmer from Duc Trong, Lam Dong province. I’ve been growing coffee for nearly two decades, but it’s not the only source of income for my family. We also plant rice, corn, eggplants and some other vegitables both for domestic use and for sale.

My working days is rushing between the coffee garden, vegetable garden and the rice field taking care of all the plants. I plough my ricefield myself with a tractor. We hire extra workers during the seasonal peaks, otherwise my wife and me do all the work. Sometimes our kids help us too.

Couple of years ago I heard at our local extension center about HRNS’s Farmer Field School project and decided to join. I immediately realized how outdated and non-systematic my agricultural methods had been so far and started applying all the techniques – such as grafting, fertilizing, watering, dealing with mold, etc.

Very soon I noticed how my yields increased from 3 tons to 4-5 tons per ha

I deliver our production to the warehouse by a custom bike and now it sees much more rides. In our area the slopes are slippery so farmers reinforce their motorbike’s wheels with iron chains. This simple and affordable know-how has saved many lives, especially in the rainy season.

In the recent years pests have been a real issue. There are more of them and some new spicies appear.

In the Farmer Field School they gave us a GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) handbook which I can always refer to when I have to deal with pests.

I would say grafting, irrigation, pest control and selecting coffee varieties are the most important things that me and my wife learnt from the project.

I only wish our government created more favorable conditions for farmers to expand their business. I’m planning to start growing avocado trees and durian, but it all requires serious investments.