|Photo: Mme Ha Thi Khiet, President of the VWU, giving speech at the workshop|
With 75% of the population living in the rural area and working in agriculture sector,
There’s a great demand on vegetables consumption, with millions ton of vegetable consumed every year. Vietnam also has a range of plentiful and diversified plant resources. Project “Enhancing the role of women in the safe production, promotion and utilization of indigenous vegetables”, being designed by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture (ACIAR), in collaboration with Vietnam Women’s Union and other institutes/ researchers from VAAS and selected universities, has opened up a new approach, new prospect for farmers (horticulturists) in Viet Nam. It is hoped that the project will bring practical benefit for people, especially women – an important part undertaking main agriculture activities, including production, promotion and utilization vegetables.
Commencement of the Project started from the visit of Madam Truong My Hoa, Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, to ACIAR in Australia in October 2006. Her Excellency asked ACIAR to consider funding a collaborative research project with the Vietnam Women’s Union on indigenous Vietnamese vegetables.
Kinds of indigenous vegetables, which are easy to plant, have nutritious and medicinal values have particular feature and competitive advantage (e.g., only in Vietnam) will be chosen, developed, safely produced and extended by researchers and professionals in related fields. This will contribute to the effort of raising agricultural effectiveness, increasing the farmer’s incomes, especially those in remote, mountainous area, ethnic minority groups where people are facing a lot of difficulties. on the other hand, the implementation of the project will not only help widen the domestic vegetables market, but also help indigenous vegetables to become kind of goods, have competitive advantage and potential for export.
By 2005, land for horticulture in Vietnam reached 635.800 hectare providing about 9.640.300 tons of vegetables for the market. Over the past 10 years, the area to grow vegetables increased by 3,61%/year. Farmers growing vegetables can make profit 3-14 times higher in comparison with those growing rice. According to investigated figures, the average vegetables consumption per capita/day is 275 grams in the North and 274 grams in the South. Although this figure is somehow higher than the minimum rate recommended by AVRDC (around 200gram), it’s still lower in comparison with other countries in the ASEAN. Vegetables provide most of the vitamines, protein and mineral factors for the Vietnamese people, especially 75% people living in the rural area and start to work in agriculture field. Currently, indigenous vegetables also have domestic and overseas markets, however, result from some constraints in cultivation activities, processing and marketing, the production of indigenous vegetables has not been adequately developed.
As a critical phase in the scoping study period of this project, the workshop “Enhancing the role of women in the safe production, promotion and utilization of indigenous vegetables” was organized in 2 days from 7th to 8th May, 2007 in Hanoi with the present of Mme Truong My Hoa, Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; H.E Mr. Bill Tweddell, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam; Mme Ha Thi Khiet, Member of the Centre Party Committee, President of VWU, President of the NCFAW; Mr. Peter Core, Director of ACIAR; representative of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Trade and other international organizations.
At the workshop, partners of the project, researchers, professional and international organizations have exchanges relevant researching works, sharing experiences, processing field visit…in order to conclude a list of priority Vietnamese indigenous vegetables which have the potential to develop, as well as further discuss/ analysis and study the role of women and production, promotion and utilization of indigenous vegetables, thence develop a feasible project, to contribute to eradicate hunger and alleviate poverty for people in rural areas.
Remarks given by Mme Ha Thi Khiet, President of the VWU, President of the National Committee for the Advancement of Women in Vietnam at the workshop “Enhancing the role of women in safe production, promotion and utilization of indigenous vegetables in Vietnam"
Translated by International Relation Dept.