Vice Chairman of Vietnam Farmers’ Union (VNFU) Luong Quoc Doan give opening remarks and chaired the workshop. Presenting at the meeting were representatives of FAO in Vietnam, , Vietnam Administration of Forestry (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), Forest Economics Research Centre (Vietnamese Academy of Forest Science), representatives of VNFU Departments, leaders, staff, farmer members from 10 provincial and city FU, relevant Ministries and local government bodies…
Vice Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan opened the workshop: “Over the past years, the Party and the State have adopted many directions, policies for agricultural, farmers and rural areas development, policies to support farmers in forestry development, agro-forestry, forest protection and development. In 2017, the National Assembly passed the Vietnam Forest Law, the Government has issued many policies and programs related to sustainable forest protection and development, reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, deforestation, forest degradation, sustainable management of forest resources, protection of the environment and natural resources, mitigation and adaptation to climate change. FU at all levels have organized many programs, activities and projects to help farmers to develop models of forestry economic development, agro-forestry production with afforestation, prevention of deforestation, forest and biodiversity management and protection, help members and farmers to increase their incomes and the value of the forest, reduce poverty, develop and manage forest sustainably. ”
To increase the value of the forest and forest landscape, combined forestry and agro-forestry production, help farmers increase their incomes, ensure livelihoods, adapt and mitigate the impact of climate change, in recent years, FU at all levels have supported, trained and provided services for members, guided farmers to voluntarily cooperate as organizations of forest and farm producers such as cooperative groups, cooperatives, cooperative models between farmers and farmers, between farmers and enterprises to jointly produce forestry, combined agro-forestry and fishery, business development, processing and management of the forest.
Some effective models of forest and farmers producer organizations (cooperative groups, cooperatives): Yen Bai, Bac Kan, Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho provinces. Some cooperatives have signed contracts with enterprises to sell FSC certificated wood products, organic certificated non-timber products, VietGap certificated products, supplying quality raw materials for domestic and export market; creating more jobs for farmers, women, youth, ethnic minorities, contributing to the development of local community.
“In order to assist farmers’ organizations in sustainable forestry development, improving the material and spiritual life of people living on the forest, contributing to the implementation of the Government’s orientation for the development of Vietnam’s timber and forest product export industry, there is a need for cooperation and linkages between producers, processors with forest producers,, farmers’ organizations, support from FU at all levels, Government agencies, local authorities, multi-disciplinary cooperation of other stakeholders and the international community.” – said Mr Luong Quoc Doan, Vice Chairman of VNFU
Participants at the workshop
Many models of enrichment from the forest and agricultural cultivation on the hill and forest, combined farm and forest development have become an effective farming method that helps millions of farmers in mountainous areas, forests to eradicate hunger, escape poverty, improve livelihoods and get rich. Many households have become owners of farms and enterprises, creating more jobs for rural labor, enriching and contributing to boosting socio-economic development in rural areas.
In order to continue to support farmers and farmers’ organizations working on the forest and farms, VNFU proposed a project to Forest and Farm Facility of FAO and it was approved. The project is expected to be implemented in the following provinces: Yen Bai, Bac Kan, Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Son La, Hoa Binh.
At the workshop, Mrs. Sophie, FFF coacher for Vietnam, said that the FFF phase, I funded by FAO from 2014-2017, was effectively implemented in Vietnam and recognized by partners. The support for afforestation and farming has been organized and the results can quickly be seen. FFF is a proven mechanism that needs more support.
The second phrase of FFF in Vietnam (2018-2022) will help improve the capacity of Vietnam Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPO) to achieve sustainable development, poverty reduction and adaptation to climate change. This will create cross-sectoral forums among Government agencies, authorities and relevant stakeholders to enhance the involvement of the Farmers’ Union, FFPO in the process of formulating, implementing, monitoring, reviewing policies and mobilizing resources for the implementation of the program; improve production and business capacity for FFPO to manage and operate more effectively, increase the capacity of mitigation, adaptation and resilience for climate change; strengthen the capacity of the Farmers’ Union to advocate policies, consultancy, support and provide services for FFPOs, members, farmers on production planning, value chain, cooperative development, market access, credit, seed and fertilizer.
“Forestry plays a very important role in the economic structure of Vietnam. The forestry sector is the driving force of the socio-economic development. This is a farmer-centered program, thus, linking forest planters, scientists and businesses is the mission of the next phrase to improve the lives of farmers.” – said Nguyen Tuong Van – Deputy Director General of International Cooperation Department – Vietnam Administration of Forestry
Mr. Ha Phuc Minh – Chairman of Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association expected: “There will be more members and farmers approaching the programs. We should exploit the potential and advantages of the forest and non-timber forest products such as medicinal plants to increase the value of natural products by the value of organic products.”
At the workshop, participants contributed their experiences and initiatives to develop implementation plan for FFF in Vietnam effectively and successfully, to help small-scale farmers, women, ethic minorities, communities and people living on the forest to improve their livelihoods, reduce poverty, promote gender equality, enhance their participation in the policymaking process, improve resilience and adaptation with climate change.
After the workshop, representatives of VNFU will coordinate with relevant stakeholders to finalize the project developing plan, approve, establish the National Advisory Committee, send qualified staff to participate in the project in the coming time.
Kim Hue - Translated by Viet Ha