Helvetas has been active in Vietnam since 1994. We have advised farmers and provided access to local and international markets, improved drinking water supplies and established hygiene standards. Together with our partner Center for Rural Economy Development (CRED), we have set up models of low-impact and community-based tourism in northern Vietnam, which will now be continued independently by CRED.
We have advocated for the rights of disadvantaged ethnic minorities in the highlands. Responding to the rapidly changing context in Vietnam, Helvetas has shifted to more meso-level interventions, in particular by working with the private sector for sustainable and fair value chain development.
Sustainable cultivation of medicinal plants and fair marketing of products
Helvetas has pioneered the development of BioTrade products in Vietnam for national, regional and international markets. Vietnam possesses a wide range of plants containing substances much in demand for the production of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products or for the food industry (e.g. cinnamon and anise). Key partners are small and medium Vietnamese enterprises that aim at developing sustainable business models and processes.
Helvetas advocates for the protection and sustainable use of this botanical diversity and is helping Vietnam establish itself as an international supplier of natural products that adhere to BioTrade standards. We advocate for fair prices for small farmers and fair pay for everyone in the supply chain. This approach is also extended to other commodities such as high quality Shan Tea.
We support capacity building and export promotion, connecting Vietnamese exporters to foreign importers in the wood sector and value-added textiles.
Building capacities for sustainable economic development
Agriculture and food markets have expanded rapidly in Asia and the Pacific Region in the past decades. But the local rural advisory services often don’t have sufficient expertise in value chains to ensure that the development is socially and environmentally sustainable.
Helvetas is building a regional network of Centers of Excellence - quality training institutions (universities, research units) that provide courses on socially and environmentally sustainable economic value chain development. The initiative is implemented in 7 countries: Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and India.
Visit the website of Helvetas Vietnam.