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ISSUE THREE 2016 PARTNERS
BY DR GORDON ROGERS
Applied Horticultural Research
F armers in Vietnam's poor north-western-
highland villages in the Moc Chau district
have increased their net income by an
average of 150% by supplying high-
quality, 'accredited safe' vegetables to retail stores
and urban consumers in Hanoi.
The agribusiness model adopted by the
villagers was developed through public-private
partnerships brokered by ACIAR, in a project led
by Dr Gordon Rogers from the Australian-based
Applied Horticultural Research.
The project used the good soil and elevation
of the participant villages to produce temperate
vegetables---such as tomatoes, lettuce and
cabbage---when demand is high but supplies are
low during Hanoi's hot summer months.
Furthermore, adoption of accredited-safe
farming practices addresses health risks commonly
associated with unsafe pesticide and nitrogen
fertiliser residues---a prevalent issue in Vietnam's
existing vegetable supply chains---creating a
market advantage for the smallholder produce.
Critical to the project's success was the
inclusion of project partners that helped the
farmers to adopt new farming practices and also
create effective two-way communication and
direct trading relationships with supermarkets and
specialty 'safe vegetable' stores in Hanoi.
Through this collaboration, the partners
successfully linked farms less than a hectare in size
to modern supply chains. The new agribusiness
model delivers clear economic benefits to the
smallholder farmers and amounts to a completely
new approach and market for local farmers.
In 2015, 68 project farmers---71% of them
women and 10% from the ethnic Hmong
minority---produced about 420 tonnes of
accredited-safe vegetables on 22 hectares in the
Moc Chau villages of Tu Nhien, Ta Niet and An Thai.
The production rate of accredited-safe
vegetables from Moc Chau is now growing at an
average of 35% per year, and the area of safe, off-
season vegetable production has increased from
Participating farmers from Tu Nhien village
earned an average net income of 300 million
dong (A$18,000) per ha in 2015. This compares
with an average net household income of 120
million dong (A$6,900) per ha for the village's non-
participant vegetable farmers. This amounts to an
increase of 150% in net income.
Ms Luyen, the leader of 38 farmers in the Tu
Nhien village, says farmers who work in the new
value chain are no longer poor and do not have
to borrow money to grow their next crop. "Many
of the farmers have been able to improve their
houses, and can more easily afford to send their
children to school."
In the neighbouring project village of Van Ho,
ethnic Hmong farmers have been producing
vegetables for only one season, but have already
recorded a net income from vegetables of 116
million dong (A$7,300) per ha per year, an increase
of 480% on the 20 million dong ($1,190) per ha
they earn from rice.
Alternative land uses, such as growing maize
or rice, return a net income to the farmer of about
20 million dong ($1,190) per ha per year, about 7%
of the income they could make from producing
Having now trialled the agribusiness model,
farmers are starting to capitalise on new economic
possibilities. For example, Ms Luyen has been able
to buy two trucks to send high-quality vegetables
from Moc Chau to Hanoi in good condition.
She has also built a covered packing area and
a separate crop receivals area where local farmers
can bring their produce for grading and packing
before it is sent to retailers such as FiviMart Ly Thai
To, Mega Market Vietnam (formerly Metro Cash &
Carry) and BigGreen in Hanoi.
Before the project started in 2011, all the
With the assistance of public-private partnerships, remote Vietnamese
smallholder farmers prove they can reliably supply 'accredited safe'
vegetables to modern chain stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets
nSmallholder vegetable producers in Vietnam's north-
western highlands have pioneered an agribusiness
model that is supplying Hanoi with accredited-safe
n The new agribusiness model has been e ective
in reducing poverty.
Ms Luyen, leader of the Tu Nhien
village, with one of the trucks she
bought to transport vegetables
from Moc Chau to Hanoi.
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