The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) hosted the ‘North-West Vietnam Research Symposium’ in Hanoi last week. The symposium was attended by over 300 participants from Vietnamese and Australian institutions. The symposium was a showcase of ACIAR-funded research in north-west Vietnam.
The north-west Vietnam region is mountainous, inhabited by communities of ethnic minorities, and unfortunately, well-known for relatively high rates of poverty. For example, it is estimated that approximately 40% of people in Lao Cai Province live below the poverty line.
GFAR leads two research projects in and of relevance to north-west Vietnam. You can read more about them here: (1) Towards more profitable and sustainable vegetable systems in north western Vietnam; (2) The Vietnam urban food expenditure and consumption study. Researchers involved in these projects – Professor Wendy Umberger, Dr Dale Yi, Anh Duc Nguyen and Nikki Dumbrell – were at the symposium to share research findings and discuss implications for development in the region.
There was much interest in GFAR’s comprehensive food expenditure and consumption study conducted across Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Lao Cai City and Son La City.
This study obtained information about household consumption patterns, expenditure on foods, ascertaining the relative importance and value of varieties, attributes and information (e.g. provenance or safety certification), diet quality and characteristics of market segments, which may offer profitable and sustainable opportunities for smallholders producing foods such as beef, fruit and vegetable products.
The findings are being shared with ACIAR partner projects working to develop sustainable and profitable fruit, vegetable and beef industries in north-west Vietnam. For more information on the study please follow our factsheet series available on our project website.
The vegetable research project “Towards more profitable and sustainable vegetable systems in north western Vietnam”, led by GFAR, was able to share findings from more than 3 years of work.
In particular, the project research has found two market access models that are successfully linking smallholders with high-end markets in Lao Cai Province – cooperatives and what the project team refer to as collector-coordinated chains.
The collector-coordinated chains are characterised by a market intermediary coordinating transactions between a number of smallholder producers and high-end markets in Lao Cai Province. Many of the high-end markets in Lao Cai Province are relatively new and have grown from increasing tourism in the region, especially in the popular Sa Pa District.
Blog post prepared by Nikki Dumbrell