Vietnam set to organize coffee festival in March

Vietnam, the world’s second biggest coffee producer after Brazil, will organize a national-level coffee festival this March in its biggest coffee growing province to boost the development of the sector and export, the organizing board announced Jan. 6.

The Central Highlands province, Dak Lak, will host the 2011 Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival from March 10 to 13 in its hub, Buon Ma Thuot City, said Mr. Dham ENuol, vice chairman of the Dak Lak Province People Committee.

Mr. Dham ENuol, vice chairman of the Dak Lak Province People Committee, speaks at the press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on January 6, 2010. (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has officially recognized the Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival as a national-level event held every two years as of this year, the provincial leader told a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on Jan. 6.
 
This year’s event is the third time after the first and second in 2005 and 2008, respectively.

The opening ceremony and closing ceremony will take place at the March 10 Square in Buon Ma Thuot, directed by Vietnamese-Australian Le Quy Duong.

The opening ceremony will be a “Thanks giving to coffee show” while the closing event a coffee world night, said Mr. Ly Thanh Tung, director of the Dak Lak Province Center for Promotion of Trade, Investment and Tourism.

He added that taking place in organizing the four-day festival are the ministries of Foreign Affairs; Industry and Trade; Agriculture and Rural Development; Culture, Sports and Tourism; Information and Communications, Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association, Trung Nguyen Coffee Joint Stock Company, Vinacafe Corporation, the People’s Committees of the Central Highlands provinces of Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Nong and Lam Dong.

A person tastes G7 instant coffee produced by Trung Nguyen, a leading coffee manufacturer of Vietnam, at the press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on January 6, 2010. (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Coffee is a major export earner in Dak Lak, the province’s vice chairman Dham ENuol told the Thursday press conference.

“Our province harvests about 400,000 tons of coffee a year. Last year’s coffee export revenue was US$600 million, which is about 60% of the province’s total revenue yearly. Coffee brings about 300,000 direct jobs and another 100,000 indirect jobs in Dak Lak, whose population is 1.8 million.”

This year’s festival expects to welcome 450,000 visitors, said Mr. Tung, Dak Lak chief of trade, investment and tourism promotion. He added the first and second time in 2005 and 2008 saw 300,000 and 350,000 visitors, respectively.

A seminar on the sustainable development Buon Ma Thuot coffee will be held on March 11 with the participation of representatives from coffee growing countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Colombia and Ethiopia.

MAJOR ACTIVITIES

1) Exhibition of coffee and related products: key in the festival
Location: Provincial Museum,

2) Street festival: Convergence of emotions
Mar. 10

3) Free coffee

4) Seminar: sustainable development Buon Ma Thuot coffee
- International conference on production and consumption
- Workshop on developing Buon Ma Thuot coffee brand

5) Cultural activities, arts and tourism:
- Vietnam Charming fashion show: 8 pm, Mar 11
- music shows
- Cultural programs: on local culture, folk games of Central Highlands ethnic minority people

By Tuong Thuy

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