Vietnam Time

5/14/2019 8:54:24 AM

Clean vegetable project launched in Son La

The first agriculture project under the GREAT Program, a pilot on the development of a VietGAP vegetable value chain, was launched recently in Van Ho District, Son La Province.

Justin Baguley, Acting Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy in Vietnam (first left) congratulates representatives of Van Ho Cooperative on  January 23.

This A$88,000 investment from the Australian Government supports the development of clean high-quality vegetable production areas through a public private partnership model.

This initiative also mobilises approximately A$100,000 in funding from implementing partners - the Agriculture and Rural Development Section (ARDS) of Van Ho District, Van Ho Vegetable Cooperative and Northwest Stevia Agriculture Company.

The project will be implemented in 5 villages in Van Ho District and will target women from the Thai, Muong and Hmong ethnic communities who will receive training in VietGAP vegetable production standards.

Justin Baguley, Acting Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy in Vietnam said in launching the project that it marks an important milestone for the GREAT Program as this is the first activity to be implemented on the ground in Son La and the first agricultural project approved under the Program.

Kick-off activity on the project site.

“I am delighted to see that this project will support women led cooperatives and women led businesses with a target of creating employment and increasing income for 180 women.

“We see fantastic opportunities for agriculture and tourism development in both Van Ho and Moc Chau, the other target district of the GREAT Program in Son La,  given your favorable natural conditions, your rich cultural history and farming practices. We also recognize the significant role women play in agriculture and, tourism and the potential these sectors provide to further improve the lives of ethnic minority women.

“We strongly believe that this pilot project has the potential to be a successful example that can be replicated elsewhere in the Province, ” concluded Baguely.

The Gender-Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program is an AUD 33.7 million (equivalent to VND 600 billion) investment from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Vietnam to promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, with a specific focus on ethnic minority women.

The Program aims to improve the socio-economic status of women living in north-west Vietnam through increased participation in, and incomes derived from, growing agriculture and tourism markets. It is implemented from 2017 to 2021 in Lao Cai and Son La provinces with the aim of empowering local women, promoting inclusive bussiness partnerships and improving sector governance and policy./.

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