Community Development among Ethnic Minorities in Northern Vietnam (phase II)


Community Development among Ethnic Minorities in Northern Vietnam (phase II)

Project period: April 2010 - March 2014

Budget: USD 1,650,000

Donor: Danida

Partner Organization: Vietnamese Farmer Union (VNFU)

Background and target group

In northern Vietnam the majority of the people belong to of different ethnic minority groups. The areas inhabited by ethnic minority groups are mostly mountainous and little-developed regions. Poverty is high in these areas and agricultural production has been partly inadequate and partly not sustainable. The Northern provinces are characterized by s natural resources, poor infrastructure, subsistence farming, low income level and consequent widespread poverty. Moreover, the areas are challenged by inappropriate agricultural practices such as deforestation and changing climatic conditions due to climate change.

The target group is primarily poor ethnic farmers from the ethnic minority groups: Black and White Thai, Muong, H'mong, Dao, and Tay, in 6 provinces in northern Vietnam. The secondary target group ADDAs partner organization VNFU will be target for capacity building in order for the organization to become better at helping the ethnic farmers in achieving better living conditions.

Purpose and methods

The purpose of the project is to help the poor farmers among ethnic minority groups to improve their living conditions. This is done by training them in new and improved agricultural production methods, adapted to the climatic conditions and to help them start small agricultural cooperatives, where they collectively can produce and sell their crops, and thus create greater revenue opportunities.

The method used to train the farmers is called Farmer Field Schools (FFS). It is an internationally recognized concept that is used in several places over world with great success.

Firstly, selected local trainers are trained in cultivation practices and participatory teaching methods. Then the FFSs begin where approx. 30 skilled farmers are invited to participate. Throughout an entire growing season the participants follow a single crop and they will during test different methods of cultivation and together explore and discuss the pros and cons of these. While this is grown a little mark on the traditional agricultural practice in the area, and farmers can compare their results with this.

After a completed FFS the farmers are encouraged to form small cooperatives, as they during the process have learned to cooperate and have seen the beneficial effects of cooperating in a group. The objective of this project is that a total of 500 small cooperatives that are able to analyze the climatic conditions and adapt their production to these, together will increase their income by selling their surplus products.