On June 25, 2020, a new model of cooperation and benefit sharing between farmers, localities, and entrepreneurs in organic farming has been officially launched. The MOU signing ceremony took place at the People's Committee of Ha Quang district, Cao Bang province, within the Workshop "Building sustainable cooperation mechanisms between businesses and localities in developing and managing local organic farming models”. This is part of the Regional BioTrade project's activities sponsored by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by Helvetas Vietnam to support the development of production areas in compliance with international sustainable standards, ensuring equitable benefit sharing for all actors.
Organic production is a rising trend in Vietnam because of its high economic value and long-term benefits to the environment and human health. Recognizing the potential of the organic agricultural market, many businesses and household producers in Vietnam have participated in organic value chains but have yet to gain fruitful results due to many obstacles.
In many areas of Vietnam, farmers still have limited awareness, knowledge and skills of organic farming. The companies that buy from farmer have limited resources to monitor the production process. They have also recognized that short training courses on organic farming for farmers without follow-up support and monitor are costly and ineffective.
The triple helix cooperation model that promotes a stronger role of local authorities has been implemented to address the above-mentioned issues, fostering equitable benefit sharing for all parties. The District Agricultural Service Center, whose staff staff will be trained by senior experts on organic farming, is to represent the local government and acts as the Coordinator.
The advantage of proximity and cultural similarity is expected to help local officials better train and monitor farmers’ organic practices. By linking farmers and companies, the triple helix cooperation model helps generate more income for the farmers as compared to traditional farming. Besides, farmers will also receive support and training from local officials in case of technical issues during the production process. The Districts' well-trained staff will be the important resource people for localities to expand the organic production area and create an enabling environment for sustainable production.
The triple helix cooperation model between businesses, local authorities, and farmers in organic production will be deployed in Ha Quang and Hoa An districts of Cao Bang province. They have now been growing organic ginger and chili, which are targeted to be the main economic development tree of the 2 districts. If successful, this model will soon be replicated to the whole province of Cao Bang, paving the way to promote the development of organic farming practices in Vietnam.
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