A new $2.2 million project designed to enhance the profitability and sustainability of women farmers and ethnic minorities engaged in horticultural value chains in North-West Vietnam recently commenced. The project was launched by the Hon Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Hanoi on the 19th February. The project is led by the University of Adelaide together with the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU). It is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The Global Food Studies team includes Dr Suzie Newman (Project Leader), Associate Professor Wendy Umberger (Consumer Research) and Dr Dale Yi (Market Analysis).
One of the major opportunities for poor smallholder farmers is meeting market demand driven by rapid urbanisation in Hanoi, northern provinces and possibly China. Increasing household vegetable production and consumption may also address the nutritional food security issues that many of these local communities face.
This project focuses in Lao Cai, one of the poorest provinces in Vietnam, with 40% of the population living below the poverty line. Chronic malnutrition in these communities is also a problem with one in three children under five suffering from stunting.
Australian and Vietnam researchers will work together to:
- undertake market and consumer demand studies for indigenous and conventional vegetables in local, provincial, urban and export markets.
- test market linkages from remote communities to urban and more profitable markets
- improve vegetable farming systems (soils, water and nutrient management) which are integrated with rice crops, and in other areas temperate fruit
- develop sustainable extension models for up-scaling research results, targeting women small holders and building researcher capacity in research, development and extension.
The private sector including traders, wholesalers and retailers will be key partners and collaborators in the project.
Research partners include: University of Adelaide (UoA), Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU), Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), the Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute (FAVRI), the Soil and Fertilizer Research Institute (SFRI), National Institute of Medicinal Materials (NIMM), Hanoi University of Agriculture (HUA), provincial partner Plant Protection sub-Department in Lao Cai (PPsD, Lao Cai), University of Queensland (UQ) and NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI).
For more details about the project, please visit ACIAR’s homepage.
For further information, please contact Dr Suzie Newman – email@example.com
*This article was written by Dr Suzie Newman