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Sowing a bright future for economic development and women’s empowerment in Son La province, Vietnam through high-quality seedlings and greenhouse vegetables

Fresh Studio

Fresh Studio is pleased to announce that it will support 13 female farmers in Son La province, Vietnam to establish 5 vegetable production greenhouses and 8 seedling production nurseries as part of the project: “Sowing a bright future for economic development and women’s empowerment in Son La through high-quality seedlings and greenhouse vegetables. This project is part of the Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture & Tourism (GREAT) program funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Nursery in Da Lat

Fresh Studio started working in the mountainous Northern Vietnam province Son La in 2007 with the ambition to create in Moc Chau district a vegetable production area which can supply urban Hanoi during the hot summer months when vegetable production in the surrounding Red River Delta is practically impossible for temperate vegetables.

Since then Fresh Studio continued to work as part of various projects to develop vegetable production in Son La province, especially in Moc Chau and Van Ho Districts. Currently, Fresh Studio is working in this area in close collaboration with Applied Horticulture Research and Nomafsi further develop vegetable production as part of the ACIAR project: “Improving livelihoods in Myanmar and Vietnam through vegetable value chains“.

This project led already to some great achievements, including direct linkage of local farmers groups with modern retailers, woman empowerment, introduction of new varieties and better production technologies, VietGAP certification and increased farmer incomes to mentioned a few. 

Still room for improvement

There are still points to improve the vegetable supply chain from Son La province. One point is that farmers don’t have access to high quality seedlings and another point for improvement is that farmers have limited access to modern greenhouse production technologies and cultivation advice. We even see that the wrong greenhouse production technologies are introduced, which result in very poor results.

Therefore, we are very pleased that in the coming 2 and half year we can directly work to improve these points within our project under the GREAT program. What makes this program literally really great is that it actively targets to empower ethnic minority women to take up a larger role in the vegetable production supply chain.”

Innovations

The ACIAR project ”Improving livelihoods in Myanmar and Vietnam through vegetable value chains” has proven that the production of vegetables diversifies and greatly increases farmer income in Moc Chau and Van Ho. Furthermore, through vegetable production women and ethnic minorities can be involved in the value chain of vegetable production. Under this project, a first small nursery has been established in Van Ho. Results of this nursery prove the added value of good quality seedlings. In Lam Dong province which the main vegetable production area of Vietnam basically all vegetables are planted as seedling and farmers buy seedling from nurseries.

Grafting at nursery in Da Lat creating a lot of jobs

In Lam Dong province there is already over 4,000 ha. of greenhouse production and first greenhouse production trials in Son La province have proven that greenhouse production is also possible in Son La province and provides a lot of benefits. Establishing a high quality seedling production sector linked with improved (greenhouse) vegetable production technologies will create a lot of value for local farmers in Son La province and empower ethnic women to participate and benefit from these value chains.

Effect of improved technology: left current practice and right improved practice

Direct knowledge development

Through training, field days, direct extension services and letting 13 female farmers invest in 5 vegetable production greenhouses and 8 seedling production nurseries this project will provide access to technologies and knowledge enabling households and particularly women to connect and participate in the vegetable production value chain. With Fresh Studio’s extensive experience in developing horticulture value chains in Vietnam, experience in Son La province and through our partners we are very confident to realize this objective.

This project will be implemented by an international consortium consisting of: Applied Horticulture Research, BvB-Substrates, Semillas Fito, Pop Vriend Seeds, Royal Brinkman and Fresh Studio.

The first project activities have started, and the first farmers have registered to establish a greenhouse or nursery. In the coming months, we look forward to updating you on the project results.

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