10 June 2021
Closing meeting of the BREEDCAFS project in Vietnam
“Towards sustainable F1 hybrid Arabica coffee value chain for North-western provinces”
On May 28th 2021, the Vietnamese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) organized the closing meeting of the BREEDCAFS project in Vietnam, in collaboration with CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development). The event took place in VAAS’ office in Hanoï and was entitled « Towards sustainable hybrid Arabica coffee value chain for North-western provinces of Vietnam ». Representatives from the Departments of Horticulture, Agricultural Processing and Market Development, and International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), physically gathered in the meeting along with researchers from the various BREEDCAFS’ partners – Agricultural Genetics Institute (AGI), Northern mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (NOMAFSI) and CIRAD. In addition, nearly 40 participants attended online, with representatives of the Delegation of the European Union in Vietnam, the French Embassy in Hanoi, CIRAD Regional director, the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and Science and Technology (DST) of Dien Bien and Son La provinces, the Tay Nguyen Institute of Agriculture and Forestry Science and Technology, coffee processing companies, Son La Coffee Association and other guests.
In Vietnam, the BREEDCAFS project was supervised by VAAS and implemented by CIRAD from July 2017 to May 2021 in close partnership with ACOM-SMS company. During the closing meeting, AGI researchers presented the results achieved in the completion and application of plant cell technology in Coffea arabica F1 hybrid. NOMAFSI researchers reported the preliminary results from the 12 experimental trials (« DEMOplots ») located in Dien Bien and Son La provinces and monitored during 3 years. The presentation highlighted the productivity and cup-quality of the sarchimor variety «Marsellesa», and the two F1 hybrids «Starmaya» and «Centroamericano-H1». CIRAD representatives presented the prospects and proposals for the development of new F1 hybrids in the development of specialty coffee chains for the North-west regions. MARD and DARD representatives as well as local coffee companies highly appreciated the achievements of the project, highlighted the high potential of new Arabica F1 hybrids in the future and emphasized the need for continuing the research activities. The representative of the European Union Delegation underlined that these activities, initiated with EU financial support, would benefit EU back as EU is the first importer of Vietnamese coffee and especially since the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was signed in 2020.
«The development of Arabica F1 hybrids in coffee production to increase productivity, quality, disease resistance and adaptation to climate change is a new achievement that CIRAD has succeeded in Nicaragua, Costa-Rica and now transferred to Vietnam » says Dr. Dao The Anh, VAAS vice-president. Presentations were followed by a round table, in which the participants openly exchanged about the future development of these F1 hybrids. The discussions included plans to expand the scope of research activities, extend the trials to new areas and continue the monitoring activities for several years. These steps will be necessary to meet the requirements for the accreditation, in accordance with MARD regulations to launch new varieties. Finally, participants of the workshop had the chance to taste the new coffee during coffee break, with the help of Phuc Sinh Company (Son La) who had roasted and brought high quality samples from new F1 hybrids.
This event contributed to fostering dialog between the stakeholders – scientific institutes, public regulatory bodies and private companies – and confirmed their high level of commitment for future steps. Stakeholders’ commitment will in turn ensure the continuing development of these new F1 hybrids in the sustainable coffee chain towards specialties for the North-west regions.