The year 2020 marks an important milestone for the Vietnamese Government and National Assembly, as they formulate and adop medium-term public investment plan for the period 2021–2025. In particular, the country will have to design and approve a National Target Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction and Socio-economic Development in Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Areas.

In this context, the Department of Cooperatives and Rural development (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) held a technical workshop with support by CARE International in Vietnam on 21 February 2020 in Hanoi. The aim was to consult experts and stakeholders on the policy framework for supporting production under the National Target Programme on Socio-economic Development in Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Areas during 2021-2025.

Participants at the workshop reviewed both the scope, subject and and content of the sub-project number 1. This sub-project focuses on developing agricultural and forestry economy associated with forest protection, promoting regional potentials and strengths towards value chain-based commodity production to increase people’s income. They also discussed solutions and implementation mechanisms for sub-projects related to general production investment and development in ethnic minority areas in the coming time.

Renovations needed in new policies

Various participants shared the same concern about what renovation should be included in the new policy’s content, approach and implementation mechanism as compared to the previous ones. For instance, a lot of comments were about the approach of developing chains and market system for agroforestry products alone:

  • In the next phase, if investment and development of production is to be based on value chains, then market linkages are required. However, to create market linkages, it is essential to first reorganise production and form farmer groups. That is why the Programme should not support on the basis of single households or separated household groups but for cooperative groups, cooperatives, farm economy models, and so on.  
  • A clear mechanism is needed to attract companies, public service providers and service providers outside the public sector to provide inputs and technical advice.
  • Contents of project management, research, potential market evaluation for each chain should be separated.
  • Projects and programmes should be systematically implemented, including activities to (i) build capacity for market participants such as the state’s public service providers, (ii) to enhance the production capacity and production organisation capacity for people and their groups, and (iii) to mobilise the participation and ownership of women.

About the event

The workshop is part of a series of activities supported by CARE and funded by the Australian Government via the GREAT project.

Via the event, CARE hopes to bring multi-dimensional meaningful inputs to the shaping of a proper policy framework that responds effectively to poverty reduction and development needs in the ethnic minority areas in Vietnam.