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First Ever Learning Route in Vietnam

Display Date: 7/30/13

Best Innovation for Replication and Scale-up

  Chut and other team members from Dak Nong.

27 July 2013, Ha Tinh, Vietnam: The final day of the Learning Route on “Strengthening Farmers Organization, Developing Sustainable Business Models and Public Private Partnership in Agriculture” looked extremely vibrant and exciting. Over 40 route participants busily exchanged views and debated with other members of their groups to crack down final details of their innovation plan – a final stage of conceptualizing what they have learned and taken home after their seven-days journey which have taken them to good project models in districts of Bo Trach and Quang Ninh in Quang Binh and Thach Ha district in Ha Tinh. The program was jointly organized by IFAD Vietnam and Procasur.

Completing his group presentation, Mr. Lai Van Chut, a farmer representative from Dak Long, Dak Nong province in Central Highlands felt motivated than ever. Having worked in the field for more than twenty years, he is inspired to turn the newly- gained ideas from the Learning Route into an innovation plan that will not only benefit his households but also his community at large.

“We had a failure of setting a common interest group (CIG) on clean vegetables in the past. But we have now gained new insights and energies from the Learning Route to start it over again”, shared Chut. “We will find innovative way to strengthen our group by increasing the skills of key members and giving them clear responsibilities and incentives. These will unite and tie our group members together based on our common interest”, continued Chut

From the field visits, idea from Hoang Ha Safe Vegetable Cooperative in Tuong Son, Thach Ha District Ha Tinh has motivated Chut to replicate a new vegetable CIG for his  own community.

“For Hoang Ha cooperative, as farmers get together, they could jointly decide what are the best products for growing during a particular period of time and sell in bulk instead of by individual households. Thus they gain better access to big market and higher price”, he said while referring to the key lesson learned he takes home from the learning route.

According to the idea of Chut and his group members, they would like to start off a pilot of commercial vegetable farming on a land of 3,5 hectares that will increase profits for 30 local women and men by at least 10%  to 15%.

“We have just grown vegetables based on season and based on our own needs, and our quality and  quantity never meet big contracts. Seeing good experiences in the host community in Ha Tinh has sparked our thinking differently in how to increase our income selling as a group in larger quantity and directly to market”, he noted.

Mr. Tran Van Toan, Head of Agricultural Services of 3EM Dak Nong said that this innovation is  truly based on ground context where the projects is proposed as well as from extracting and analyzing the three cases they have visited.  “Innovative, practical and impactful are key things we are looking for in this project”, stressed Toan. “It can connect many people working for a common objective. We should think big, but start small and build on opportunities and successes along the way of implementation”, he said and stressed that the 3EM project will be willing to co-finance this innovation.

LR participants visit Hoang Ha Safe Vegetable Cooperative.

Being a host as well as a participant of the Learning Route, Nguyen Viet Son, Chair of Hoang Ha Safe Vegetable Cooperative is content with the process, outcomes and increased awareness on tools available for rural development by all participants.  “In these seven days of journeying and learning together, we have seen very good cases in business models and group strengthening activities. We take back very positive lesson learned and experiences”, summarized Son. “I am very happy to go to Dak Nong to support Chut to set up a group on clean vegetables”.

The innovative idea of Chut and Dak Nong was not just alone. Many other initiatives and new proposals were presented by other participants. They provide innovative ways of addressing rural poverty by strengthening farmer organization, business models and scale up best practices.

Coming also from Central Highlands, Mr. Trinh Quoc Viet, Director of Agricultural Extension Gia Lai shared that the approach of the learning route is to bring those who in needs to learn from the best practices and for the best practices cases to learn from other participants’ experiences, so as to better off mutually. He said “It is new and very open way of learning. I also have to learn from this approach to organize the same activities in my province”.

Following the Learning Route, viewupdates and full innovation plans from 8 IFAD funded project in Vietnam in the coming days here:

http://asia.procasur.org/portfolio_item/1701/
https://www.facebook.com/procasur.asia

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