Coffee harvest season starts in the Central Highlands
The farmers in the Central Highlands region, Vietnam's coffee-growing hub, are busy harvesting coffee as the harvest starts from November to December.
Dak Lak Province has over 200,000ha of coffee alone. During this time, coffee farms are bustling as the farmers quickly pick the coffee cherries.
Hoang Dinh Tan, a coffee farm owner in Krong Nang District, said, "Being able to harvest the coffee in time is the first worry above other problems like whether we'll have a bountiful crop or good prices this year or not. If the coffee cherries are not picked in time, they will lose weight and quality. We are also guarding against thieves."
According to Tan, it has not been easy to find good coffee cherry pickers recently since this seasonal job only lasts for one month. Since most of the households in Krong Nang District grow coffee, they can only hope to be able to find employees from other areas.
Hoang Thi Thu from Nghe An Province said she worked at a farm in Ea Tam Commune. "This job requires strong and careful employees. We have to be quick, clean and thorough to avoid breaking too many branches of the trees. The harvesting process has two phases and the coffee quality will drop if it is not carried out correctly."
Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan from Cu Mgar District said she had one hectare of coffee which brought stable profits. Because of prolonged rain, the trees had enough moisture. "Last year, we harvested only 2 tonnes of coffee. This year we may have 3 tonnes," she said.
The coffee prices in Lam Dong, Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Gia Lai, and Kon Tum are VND30,000 to VND33,000 per kilo. This is considered a low price. However, many farmers still grow coffee and grow some other fruit trees in between to improve their income.
Some photos of the harvest: