Feminization, agricultural transition and rural employment (FATE)

Making a living from coffee in Laos

Coffee is produced in southern Laos and exported all over the world. This has changed the lives of farmers in this region. Our team from Switzerland and Laos has investigated the changing livelihoods of coffee farmers in Laos over the past 5 years. Coffee production is the main occupation for households in the village, and also their main source of income today. Farmers have different ways of making a living from coffee. This film serie presents what are the advantages and the challenges that these farmers encounter today.

Working for other farmers

Hongkham lives in the south of Laos and she owns a small plot of land. She is working for other farmers in their coffee plantations to support her livelihoods. She tells us about her life and and working conditions.


Working for a company

Nouphone works in the coffee plantation of a large company in the south of Laos. Her husband works in the same company. They have a baby but he stays with her parents back in the village. She does not see him often.

Vihansouk works in the same company. He is from the region and has gained a lot of experience working in this company. He brings also this experience back to his own farm.


Being part of a cooperative

Tui is part of the coffee cooperative. She produces coffee following the organic standards.

Boulykham is also part of the same cooperative. Being part of the cooperative has advantages but it also comes with requirements and some complications.


Owning a small farm

Phitsamai, Davanh and Sopha work on their own small farm. Being smallholders, they have a lot of challenges like price fluctuations, middle men and new pest invasions.

Making a living from coffee - short version

The short version of our film series compiles different ways of how farmers make a living from coffee and provides a first insight into the different experiences of Lao coffee farmers.