“Lao Cai appreciates the support from the Australian Government and international organizations. Especially, WEAVE project has helped initiate ideas, new ways of working for locals so that they can pull themselves out of poverty and step by step increase their income legally”, Nguyen Huu The, Vice Chairman of Lao Cai province highlighted at the meeting with the consortium of the project “Women Economic Empowerment through Agriculture Value Chain Enhancement”, WEAVE in Lao Cai on 28 Oct 2016.
The project’s delegation with representatives from Australia Embassy Vietnam, Oxfam Australia, Oxfam in Vietnam and SNV in Vietnam had two day monitoring visit to Bac Ha district and participated into project’s early activities of supporting women to gain increased benefits through better organized and enhanced value chain and market linkages.
In Bao Nhai commune the delegates participated in training on Gendered Market Mapping and Value Chain Analysis. The training aimed to provide ethnic women and men of the 7 pig-raising groups and other value chain actors (animal feed shops, piglet sellers, pig traders, etc.) with knowledge to analyse income-generating activities and their market to maximize benefit for farmers, and women in particular. These key actors will be able to apply what they have learnt for their own planning and later on share with other group members. Initial analysis revealed that women are spending more time than men on no-income activities. Besides, different actors do not have equal position in bargaining. Animal feed shops and pig traders are often the ones who fix the price and benefit more than farmers in buying and selling activities. WEAVE project activities will continue to help farmers and value chain actors to develop an equal and win-win relation.
In Nam Det commune, the delegation attended a private sector engagement for cinnamon under WEAVE’s value chain development outcome. The meeting between Techvina, a company that extracts oil from cinnamon branches and leaves for export and representatives of five groups of organic cinnamon farmers, the local government and project officers. The linkage between the company and farmers has proven to be beneficial to all and sustainable. In the past, cinnamon branches and leaves were unused and locals only harvested cinnamon bark. Recently, cinnamon branches and leaves are also being collected by companies to extract oil, which has helped raised the income for locals. The WEAVE and company discuss on the joint initiative to confidently invest in a rotary system to help transport the branches and leaves from the high hills down faster and reduces workload for farmers, especially women. Although more women in Nam Det (over 80% are ethnic minority’s women) have opportunity to take part in community activities, they are still doing most of the housework and get little support from other family members. The female farmers and household are in need of improve household economic/financial literacy to better doing business and managing income from cinnamon.
This two-day trip to the project site has helped the delegation better understand the reality in each community. “I have had an interesting visit. I see the challenges for the farmers to sell their products” said Ms. Kellie Raab, First Secretary from the Australia Embassy Vietnam.
High Level Delegation Visits WEAVE Project in Lao Cai Province