Global Food Studies’ Dr Suzie Newman, Associate Professor Wendy Umberger and Dr Dale Yi contributed to the Agribusiness Master Class Program in Hanoi, Vietnam between 2 and 7 June 2014. The program was funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Crawford Fund.
Dr Newman was the main coordinator of the program and played a major role in getting funding, organising and facilitating this program. Prof Umberger played a main role in designing the program and together with Dr Yi played a major role in delivery. ACIAR’s Agribusiness Research Program Manager Dr Rodd Dyer also attended the event and was one of the main facilitators of the workshop.
Prof Umberger and Dr Yi delivered lectures on various topics as part of the program’s module on market and consumer research. Prof Umberger presented topics on agri-food chains and market research including issues in agricultural and food market, how value chain analysis and market research help us understand and address opportunities, impact of modern retailer procurement systems, certification, food safety and quality standards and constraints to pro-poor agribusiness development in agri-food value chains. She also delivered a lecture on “market fundamentals and dynamics” explaining what drives market dynamics, what determine price, price and income elasticities and international trade issues. Dr Yi presented a topic on “Fundamentals of wholesale market research”.
Participants were also given opportunities to learn more about research methods including formulating research objectives, considering research budget, research approach and sampling methods and methods to analyse data both qualitative and quantitative.
This master class program was designed not only to provide opportunities for students to learn more about key topics in agribusiness from some of the best experts in this area but also to collegially discuss the topics in a group setting as well as apply the theories into practice by designing and implementing a mini project.
The students had opportunities to visit local markets and test their research design and survey instruments they previously developed in the class.
At the final program, the students presented the results of their mini projects and made a reflection on how to best use market research for agribusiness development and more efficient agricultural and food policy decision-making.
*Photographs taken by Prof Umberger