Vietnam: Project reaches milestone

Project progress control in Hanoi, May 2023. Source: VOAA
July 18, 2023

Project in Vietnam reaches milestone

The first phase of the project with the Vietnam Organic Agricultural Association (VOAA) is currently being evaluated.

The Vietnam Organic Agricultural Association (VOAA) was founded in 2011 as an umbrella organization with the aim of bringing different players in the organic agricultural sector in Vietnam - including farmers, research institutes, scientists, businesses, associations and cooperatives - together under one roof.

In November 2020, Naturland set up a project to support the VOAA with its strategic development and enhance the range of services available to VOAA members. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and administered via the development organisation sequa. The membership development of VOAA is indicative of its potential: Between 2019 and 2022, the number of members increased by 26 percent.

An earlier milestone in 2022 was the study trip of five delegates of the VOAA executive staff to the Biofach trade fair in Nuremberg and to the Naturland head office in Gräfelfing for a training on the Naturland ecosystem. This fed into the VOAA’s new development strategy: The association plans to transition into a Business Support Organisation that will support all stakeholders in Vietnam’s organic sector and advocate for an enabling policy environment for organic farming within the country.

The Naturland Academy plays a central role in the project. It provides an innovative Training-of-Trainers (ToT) program devised together with the VOAA. In a blended learning approach, the program combines remote learning through self-paced learning nuggets with online seminars and face-to-face workshops. The learning modules cover shrimp farming, agroforestry (cocoa) as well as tropical fruits (pineapple, pink guava, calamansi). The ToT program is designed to foster a pool of well-qualified trainers in Vietnam who can act as knowledge-multipliers and provide advisory support locally. This will also enable the VOAA to set up an advisory service for stakeholders in Vietnam interested in joining Naturland.

In addition, the project has been implementing numerous PR activities to strengthen VOAA’s visibility among its members as well as its connections to the relevant national and international players. An important part of this work is identifying, visiting and connecting local stakeholders within the value chain - particularly processors and retailers of products such as tropical fruits, cocoa and coffee in the South. The improved communication also strengthens the connectivity within the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) movement in Vietnam.

Following the evaluation of the first project phase, the second phase is expected to start in November 2023. In this second phase, the project will focus on activities in the South of Vietnam which is witnessing a major increase in organic production. In addition, in-depth research will provide a better understanding of the Vietnamese market.

More information about the project can be found here.