© Helvetas

Developing high quality tea value chains for poverty reduction for ethnic minorities in Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar

© Helvetas

Delivering sustainable livelihood improvements to at least 3100 tea producing smallholders, who are predominately women from ethnic minority groups in northern Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

Implementing Agencies and Donor 

The project is implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Vietnam.
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) provides funding support


6 medium scale tea processors (5 in Vietnam, 1 in Laos) which are directly linked to 3100 smallholder ethnic minority farmers who supply them with tea leaf.


  • Developing beneficial/sustainable linkage between smallholder farmer groups and processors, and processors and higher value domestic, regional and international markets;
  • Improving production quality at both farmers and processors level;
  • Strengthening enabling environment for tea value chains through support for development of an appropriate policy and regulatory environment, and business development services related to the tea sector (finance, technique, technology).


The main methodology proposed for this project is the Market Systems / Value Chain Approach, which is a core competency of both HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and SNV;

  • This approach examines market systems and their value chains to identify key constraints that limit the growth of the sector and benefits particularly for disadvantaged value chain actors;
  • The transversal themes of gender and governance will be integrated in the implementation of the project through methods such as ensuring suitability of training course timing, materials and contents to women and ethnic groups and ongoing participatory monitoring of power relations and equity of linkages in the value chain through disaggregated data collection;

Key Achievement by the End of 2015

  • Equitable and beneficial market linkages between smallholder tea producers and processors and between processors and higher value markets are developed:
    • 189 groups of 6885 farmer households are established and linked to 6 local tea processors in Laos and Vietnam;
    • The increase in fresh tea leave revenue at farm is estimated at USD 535,317 in 2015 and USD 1,437,919 accumulated since the beginning of the Project;
    • New clients from EU and Dubai, Taiwan emerged as an important market for higher quality products. Attempts to establish a position in the domestic market has been made which help to increase domestic sale significantly by the end of 2015.
  • Tea production and processing quality is improved. The quality of tea leaves at farm appears stable and significant investments in new factories and technologies have been made by project’s partners;
  • Local governments are entirely convinced of tea as major crop for the livelihood improvement for ethnic minorities. In frequent dialogue with processors, local and provincial authorities have developed business- friendly policy frameworks. 

Main Contact 

Mr. Cuong Vien
Project Manager
Email: Cuong.Vien@helvetas.org


1,432,000 USD 

Period: 2013 - 2016 

Main Contact 

Mr. Cuong Vien
Project Manager
Email: Cuong.Vien@helvetas.org

Our Working Principles and Approaches

We strive for a fairer world in which everyone can fulfill their basic needs. We support people in taking charge of improving their livelihoods sustainably.

How Helvetas Supports People in Vietnam

Helvetas promotes sustainable tourism in the mountainous regions of Vietnam and advocates for the protection of medicinal plants.