Banana trunks | © Helvetas Germany & CRED

Economic opportunities

© Helvetas Germany & CRED

In Vietnam, the banana is a widespread tropical fruit that not only contributes to food security as a staple food, but also provides a source of income for many farmers and ethnic minorities. However, many banana farmers live in rural areas with little infrastructure and limited training opportunities. As a result, they often lack the know-how and technology to be familiar with the full potential of banana cultivation. With this project, Helvetas aims to support farmers in northern Vietnam to shift to a green and sustainable circular economy by realizing the full potential of banana cultivation and promoting resource efficiency.

  • Project Name
    Contribution to improved living conditions of banana producers and environmental protection in Northern Vietnam
  • Project Phase
    2022 to 2023
  • Funding
    The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Thematic focus
    Sustainable and Inclusive Economies
    Skills, Jobs and Income services

Banana cultivation is a main source of income for farmers and ethnic minorities in many regions of Vietnam. However, many banana-growing areas are characterized by underdeveloped cultivation techniques, as farmers lack access to technology and know-how as well as links to the private sector. As a result, only the banana fruit is currently utilized and the banana stems are discarded as waste after harvesting, even though they could serve as raw material for paper, handicraft products, or biofertilizers. Currently, the biowaste not only contributes to environmental pollution, but also represents a financial burden for the farmers, who spend annually up to 10% of their income on the disposal of the banana stems after the harvest season.

Therefore, Helvetas, together with its local partner organization CRED (Center for Rural Economy Development), supports with this project the Vietnamese government's goal of moving from a linear economy to a sustainable circular economy, thus contributing to improving the living conditions of banana producers and reducing environmental pollution.

© Helvetas Germany & CRED
© Helvetas Germany & CRED
© Helvetas Germany & CRED
© Helvetas Germany & CRED

Through training, awareness raising and special equipment for farmers, the utilization of banana fiber and production of derived products from the trunks of the banana tree will be established. This will not only contribute to a higher income for banana farmers and the creation of additional jobs, but also increase resource efficiency and improve the waste management in the region.

In addition, local cooperatives will receive specific support in establishing a profitable, environmentally friendly business model, which will enhance sustainable knowledge transfer and establish production facilities for processing banana fiber directly in the communities of Vietnam's structurally disadvantaged north. The expansion of employment opportunities achieved in this way increases and stabilizes the income of many community members, and thus of their entire families.

The further processing of banana stems thus reduces agricultural waste and establishes a circular economy, for the responsible and sustainable use of valuable resources.


The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

How Helvetas Supports People in Vietnam

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

Our Vision and Mission

Our vision is of a just world in which all men and women determine the course of their lives in dignity and security, using environmental resources in a sustainable manner.