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Ethnic Minority Women’s Position in the Coffee Value Chain to be Enhanced

Son La, 11th January 2018 – Today in Son La city, CARE International in Vietnam and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Son La province co-organize a kick-off workshop for a new project aimed at support ethnic minority women in the coffee value chain. The project is called Technologically Enhanced Agricultural Livelihoods, or TEAL. The project, funded by the Australian Government, has a budget of over 3 million Australian dollars and is going to be implemented in Muong Ang district of Dien Bien province and in Mai Son district of Son La province from 2018 to 2021.
«With our experiences in promoting gender equality via agricultural value chains, CARE is confident that the project will contribute to improving the living standards of ethnic minority households in project locations. Moreover, it will enhance the role and position of ethnic minority women while participating in the coffee development in their locality, » said Mrs. Le Kim Dung, Country Director of CARE International in Vietnam.
«Son La province has identified the Arabica coffee as one of our core commondities in our efforts to reduce and eradicate poverty and to lift the living standards up. The fact that this project prioritises support for farmers to grow coffee sustainably plays an important role in improving the lives of ethnic minority people, » said Mr. Lo Minh Hung, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Son La province.
To implement the project, CARE International in Vietnam, together with local partners, will support the establishment of village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) to promote cross learning and sharing among coffee farmers. At the same time, the project will connect different players in the coffee value chain to improve linkages among farmers, companies, extension workers, and so on to increase productivity and output and to attract further investment in the local coffee industry. Via different activities, ethnic minority women in particular and their communities in general will have the chance to look into gender stereotypes hindering ethnic minority women from bringing into play their economic capapcity and strengthening their voice in the family and community
The project is among CARE’s long term efforts to improve the lives of ethnic minority women that it has pursued over the past ten years in Dien Bien and in the previous 12 years in Son La (CARE had had operations in Son La during 1994-2006). The local implementing partner in Dien Bien is the Dien Bien Center for Community Development (CCD) and in Son La the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.