Vietnam - To adapt to the situation of Covid-19 and ensure we still deliver the best services to our clients, many of our trainings and missions are conducted at online platform. We also realise the potential of distance working with our clients. However, online exchange programme might still be very difficult :) So we are very happy to eventually organise the exchange programme amongst our 4 clients on sustainable production in rice commodity after 3 months of delay due to Covid-19.
On June 12th, 2020, an exchange programme was conducted with the participation of 4 clients working on rice commodity (i.e. An Lo, Quang Tho II, Thang Binh and Ai Nghia). The first section of the programme was a roundtable discussion amongst participants in which each client shared their experience on how to add value to the rice value chain and ensure a sustainable development. An Lo cooperative has more than 20 ha of organic-oriented rice. Ai Nghia has 40 ha of safety rice (according to Vietnamese standard) while Thang Binh cooperative planned to start their 60 ha under Vietgap (Vietnam Good Agricultural Practices) this year. Quang Tho II has area of rice and expect to learn more on sustainable rice production.
Representative of Hue Cooperative Alliance shared the overall framework on cooperative support policies in Hue, Dr. Nguyen Van Duc from Hue Agr provided information on sustainable rice standards and my Agriterra colleague - Nguyen Ba Cuong - shared an overview on some common certification scheme (e.g. Vietgap, Global GAP, USDA organic) and their challenges and opportunities.
Feedbacks from our clients are clear: to comply with high standards such as USDA organic is not easy at all, but it is time to keep in mind the importance of sustainable production. The representative from Hue Viet company shared valuable insights on market for rice in Vietnam.
In the third section all participants took the chance to visit the area of organic production rice of An Lo and they saw how this cooperative gradually applies mechanisation into production.
After the exchange programme, a conclusion was made amongst participants: rice production in compliance to sustainable standards is not easy but a must to add value into value chain and attain the sustainable development. "Aim high, start small and keep going" is the message to take home of the participants.
Le Ngoc Dung, business advisor Vietnam
"We already start with our area of safety rice, not that strict as international standard, but will be a good kick start to transform the mindset of agricultural production of our cooperative and members"
Mr. Truong Cam - Ai Nghia cooperative
"This exchange program provides us many useful information as we will apply Vietgap standard to our 60 ha of rice. Understanding on technical requirement is very important"
Mr. Phan Cong Hao - Thang Binh cooperative
"Organic rice production is not easy as you see, but to say this is not to demotivate you but to help you have a practical plan on how to achieve this"
Dr. Nguyen Van Duc - Hue Agriculture and Silviculture University.