Society for Cultural Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Even when utilizing modern agricultural technology and chemical pesticides, coffee growers in Lac Duong district, Lam Dong Province Vietnam have faced the same problems as farmers in other ethnic communities in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Product contamination, high production costs (due partly to climate change), and price fluctuations are common to all farmers here (Dang and Shively, 2005; Ho TQ et.al, 2018). In 2013, a group of farmers in the Lac Duong district established a network known as the K’ho Cil Coffee Network to implement an initiative to return to traditional methods of coffee growing and retailing their processed product directly by opening their plantation to tourists. Until 2018, there were 50 households with about 40 hectares of coffee farms in total participating in the group initiative. However recent ethnographic fieldwork in the K’hor Cil community has revealed that this number is increasing. In the Lac Duong district, somehow, agritourism farm tourism) is functioning as a successful marketing and distribution channel through which the people in the network can exploit many different forms of capital (Bourdieu, 1986) in their production process to add value to their product. This study argues that agritourism in the K’hor Cil community creates a socio-economic space in which local people increasingly re-create and implement their agency in a way that empowers them and achieves market independence. Through their touristic entrepreneurship, K’hor Cil coffee growers are able to deal with the negative forces of the market economy brought about by climate change.