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Taste of the mountain for Australian Minister

Resy Vermeltfoort (SNV) and Giang Vu (CARE)

“I want to thank the WEAVE project for the great work that they are doing in the pork, banana and cinnamon value chains in Lao Cai and Bac Kan provinces, especially for empowering women to build their resilience,” says Mr. Littleproud, the Australian Minister of Agriculture when visiting the Aus4Equality information booth at the 25th anniversary of the agricultural research partnership between Australia and Vietnam on April 11th in Hanoi. Mr. Littleproud had the opportunity to learn more about the Women’s Economic Empowerment through Value Chain Enhancement (WEAVE) project and to taste some banana chips produced by women in Thanh Van commune (Cho Moi district, Bac Kan province).

H.E. Mr. Craig Chittick (l) and Mr. Littleproud (r) at the Aus4Equality booth - @2018 Resy Vermeltfoort/SNV Vietnam

Mr. Littleproud tasting banana chips produced by ethnic minority women - @2018 Resy Vermeltfoort/SNV Vietnam

Just as its full name tells us, the project supports ethnic minority women to participate more effectively and equitably in the value chains of pork and cinnamon (Lao Cai) and banana (Bac Kan). It is co-implemented by the consortium of CARE International in Vietnam, Oxfam in Vietnam, and SNV Vietnam.

The event was organised by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). It attracted visitors from NGOs, research centres and the government, including the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Mr. Craig Chittick and the Vice Minister of the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Le Quoc Doanh. With the support of farmers in Thanh Van commune and CARE’s local partner, the Agriculture and Forestry Research & Development Center for Mountainous Region (ADC) and Bac Kan’s Women’s Union, WEAVE project was able to introduce banana chip made by ethnic minority women supported the project to not only the Minister but many other visitors at the event.

A total of 19 booths displayed agricultural products at the Market Place - @2018 Resy Vermeltfoort/SNV Vietnam

Banana, pork and cinnamon products and business cards of local producers - @2018 Resy Vermeltfoort/SNV Vietnam

Joined 18 other booths from different (research) projects, which turned the area into a vibrant market place, where visitors interacted with representatives of the projects and enjoyed cooking demonstrations and tasting sessions of a great variety of agricultural products.

The event was a great platform to network and display cinnamon, banana and pork products produced by ethnic minority women under the WEAVE project. WEAVE also disseminated business cards of local producers and cooperatives in the three value chains to connect them to research institutes and potential buyers at the event.

Learn more about WEAVE project here.