Integrating women into the coffee supply chains in Indonesia and Vietnam



IFC is working with ECOM in Indonesia and Vietnam to set up Farmer Training Centers (FTCs) to promote quality awareness and best practices for sustainable coffee cultivation. The FTCs help farmers improve coffee productivity and quality, reduce costs and obtain internationally recognized certification for sustainable production. Over the last three years, around 4,000 farmers from Vietnam who obtained the certifications have increased their total income by about $6.6 million, and about 6,000 farmers from Indonesia experienced total increased incomes of about $3.8 million.


The Opportunity


Indonesia and Vietnam are among the world’s largest coffee producers with millions of people relying on coffee for their livelihoods. In order to meet an increasing demand for high-quality coffee beans that are produced sustainably, the two countries must strengthen the supply chains in their respective coffee industries.

Women make up 80 percent of coffee farm workers in North Sumatra, Indonesia, and about 50 percent in Lam Dong, Vietnam. Although they play a key role in coffee cultivation, processing and marketing, they are often excluded from training and other development opportunities.

When women farmers have better access to technical training and productive input, they are more likely to adopt good agricultural practices. When women farmers are included in agricultural development opportunities, they receive critical knowledge, skills and assets that help them improve their household productivity.


IFC’s approach


IFC took the following measures in Indonesia and Vietnam to increase women farmers’ skills and improve overall coffee productivity and quality:

  • Identified women’s role in on-farm supply-chain work.
  • Deployed women trainers and women volunteers; engaged leaders of women’s unions, farmers’ associations, and village heads.
  • Adjusted the training schedules to accommodate women’s needs.
  • Developed gender-specific training materials, and provided training for trainers for ECOM staff and local communities.
  • Introduced more visual aids, such as videos and pictures, to accompany traditional training materials.
  • Introduced a simple financial management tool to help women farmers document and analyze household and farm expenditures, given women’s traditional role in managing household income.
  • The project’s approach to involving more female coffee farmers can be replicated with other commodities in which women are known to play a key role.


Results and impact


  • In Indonesia, nearly 1,600 women were trained. The share of women who received training increased from 16 percent to 27 percent.
  • In Vietnam, more than 2,300 women were trained, more than doubling the level of female participation in training workshops to 25 percent from 12 percent in 2010.
  • In Indonesia, the state-owned Bank Sumut decided to open loan facilities to cater to the needs of coffee farmers after witnessing the successful collaboration among different stakeholders in the country’s coffee supply chain.
  • In North Sumatra, Indonesia, a survey of coffee farmers showed that training groups consisting of both male and female farmers reported a 92 percent increase in their productivity level. Farmers who did not receive training from the ECOM–IFC supported program reported only a 37 percent increase in productivity.
  • $154 million has been invested by IFC in Ecom globally since 2006.


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Author: International Finance Corporation

Publisher: World Bank Group

Language: English

Year: 2014

Ecosystem(s): Agricultural Land

Location(s): Global

This publication is focused on value chains in support of the work of the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program (FOLUR), with funding from the Global Environment Facility.

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