Become a billionaire from catimo coffee tree

In the early90s when Vietnam's economy shifted from the subsidy mechanism to the market mechanism, in the northwest area of Son La province (one of the poorest provinces of Vietnam) has appeared Catimo Coffee trees on barren mountains, this is the kind of crops bring higher economic value and many people around the world love to use.

    Foreseeing the market information, Mrs. Hoang Thi Khoi who is a member of credit saving group at Cu village, Chieng Ban commune, Mai Son district, Son La province  devote  herself  to germinate seed to plant tree on hilly area of 200 m2.  In the first period, Mrs. Khoi intended to plant  as “testing” because “they said it is good” and  adaptable with the climate, land of Son La. 03 years later, the coffee trees are at harvest period,  because of lacking experience in caring and no capital for investment in production  lead to the low yield of about 10 kg. So she kept it for using and inviting “honor guest” only.

   Also at that time, Son La province  led Agriculture department  “ taking” Catimo coffee trees as “cutting edge” tree and  grown mostly at Chieng Ban commune. At this time , Khoi’s coffee garden became a pilot and receiving instruction from District Agriculture Department  on planting, caring and maintaining products, whereby her coffee garden blossom and harvested with an increase of  05 times in yield as compared with the first harvest.

     Having technique in their hands, they did not hesitate to expand the area of land, the entire of 1000 m2 for fruit trees was moved to plant coffee trees. Until the year of 1996, the total land area for coffee was 1,200 m2. To increase the crop yield , in 1996 she borrowed for the first loan round (which is the  only round) from the Saving and credit program with the amount of VND 2,000,000 to buy  basal fertilizer.  This time the coffees grow better because of the proper care technique from the start. Every year, beside the her family coffee yield, she also buys each “ bunch” from women in commune and resell for merchant to get more profit and support other women in consumption of product, creating more belief and motivation for women to develop households’ economy. 

     So that to see Khoi’s activity, enthusiasm and be loved and believed by other women, in 1998 People Commune Committee selected her as a Chief Operator of Saving and Crediting program in Chieng Ban commune; not only as chief operator, she is also a good technician who guided women applying advances of science and technology in breedingand cultivation.


   In 2000, she had earned profits from coffee tree (VND 20 million to 30 million per year, her coffee harvest was the highest harvest in the commune as the District Agriculture Department informed. In 2001, her family contracted more 2 hectares of the village to expand area for growing coffee. Widespread fame, good reputation, women from next communes also came to her to learn her experiences.

   MaiSondistrictAgriculture Departmentalsoconsidered it asmodel; some enterprises set buying agencies for coffee right her family.She also contacted with Lam Thao phosphatic fertilizer company to provide fertilizer to the villages for women. As she said “This is the right time at the right place of nature harmony everything is favorable” by which the family “as kite meet wind”. At this time her family had capital to invest in urchin breeding, pig breeding and buys 05 ton truck to carry fertilizer and products for herself and women in the commune.

       They got married since 1990 with asset “dowry” of parents was 1,200 m2 of barren land. Her family started out with Catimo coffee trees and after 13 years they have built a 03 floor house with the total assets of approximate VND 2.5 billion, average income of VND 400 mil to 600 mil per year, 02 children are grown and have stable jobs.  

        Whenever members want to apply for loan she also gives advices what should be done to them for good use of the loan. Members almost have 10-15 years in participation with the program but no late payment; some members were difficulty also received help from her buy creating job for member family or advanced seed and fertilizer for production.

        With the achievements gained, in 2007 she was honor to received award from People committee of Son La and merit to participate in a nationwide good economic samples conference in Hanoi. In 2010, she was awarded by City Fund as excellent credit staff.

     Since 2010, Mai Son Fund for Assistance to Ethnic minority women appointed her as Head of Transaction office No 01 covering 07 communes with 2,700 members.  In management, she always shows as an exemplary, enthusiastic, active and creative manager who dares to think and dare to do so the results of Department’s operation well year after year, contributing to the poverty alleviation and gender equality at local level.