18 November 2023, VN: Vietnam’s agricultural extension is proactively engaging in international integration, capitalizing on resources from international cooperation and public-private partnerships.
Enhancing the value of agricultural extension in Vietnam within the ASEAN Region
Following Vietnam’s initiation into the ASEAN bloc, the country has actively participated in the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Agricultural Training and Extension (AWGATE). AWGATE, which involves all ASEAN member states, is an annual event held alternately in different countries.
During AWGATE meetings, issues related to agricultural training and extension cooperation are shared among the member states. The programs and projects proposed through AWGATE will be consolidated and solicited for guidance by the ASEAN Secretary-General at the higher-level annual ASEAN meetings. High-level meetings involve the Senior Officials Meeting on Agriculture (SOM) and the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry Meeting (AMAF) in the field of agriculture and rural development within the ASEAN bloc.
Vietnam is also a participant in the Mekong Extension Learning Alliance (MELA), which was initiated in March 2015 in Hanoi. The organization’s mission is to establish a network for member states to study, share knowledge, and exchange practices in agricultural consulting services, marketing, and sustainable rural development. Additionally, the Alliance aims to formulate strategies and action plans for agricultural extension in the participating countries.
Numerous major projects, active engagement in international integration
The National Agricultural Extension Center has optimized external resources through various international cooperation activities, thereby making a significant contribution to the international integration of the agriculture and rural development sector.
Between the years 2016 and 2020, the National Agricultural Extension Center was entrusted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to manage two projects funded by the Laos government, utilizing non-refundable aid from the Vietnamese government. Additionally, the Center was assigned to lead an ODA project sponsored by the Japanese government through JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) with a budget of 3 million USD, to be implemented over four years from 2022 to 2026.
Furthermore, the National Agricultural Extension Center has been leading various international cooperation projects with international organizations such as FAO, UNDP, Pepsico, GCP, including projects such as “Enhancing the Value of Vietnam’s Pork Chain towards International Integration: A – G2G Program: Controlling and Improving Product Quality in the Pork Chain,” VnSAT, “Support for Drought and Saltwater Intrusion in the six provinces of Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Ben Tre, Kien Giang,” and “Minimizing Risks and Managing Threats to Human Health in the Animal Value Chain – EPT2.”
In collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the German Agricultural Society (DLG), the National Agricultural Extension Center successfully organized the AGRITECHNICA ASIA Live 2022 event in Can Tho City in 2022. The international focal event, which represented the Vietnam’s agricultural sector in 2022, aimed to promote sustainable agriculture through the application of advanced and modern technological solutions.
Thanks to multiple international cooperation projects and programs, the capacity of the central and local agricultural extension systems has been significantly reinforced. Approximately 500,000 agricultural extension officers and farmers have participated in capacity-building training through the projects, cooperatives, sub-projects, and sub-cooperatives coordinated by the National Agricultural Extension Center in collaboration with international partners. Numerous extension officers across all levels have attended numerous training courses, workshops, and programs on agricultural extension in South Korea, Switzerland, Israel, Japan, the United States, Australia, Taiwan, Thailand, China, etc.
Expanding agricultural extension through public-private partnerships
In conjunction with international cooperation activities, the agricultural extension system has emphasized the role of the private sector through public-private partnerships (PPP).
The National Agricultural Extension Center has strengthened Public-Private Partnerships with numerous international organizations including UN Women, GCP, Syngenta, IRRI, Bayer, Baywa, GIZ, FAO, HIS, various international NGOs, and partners including Binh Dien Corporation, Loc Troi Group, Bo De Group, Nespice Group, C.P Group, Global Coffee Platform (GCP), and Community Development Center (CDC).
Notably, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has entrusted the National Agricultural Promotion Center with the role of leading the public-private partnership group in the rice industry in Vietnam.
Several exemplary PPP collaborations under the National Agricultural Promotion Center include cooperation with Grow Asia and Bayer Vietnam to provide comprehensive support solutions for farmers in the Mekong Delta provinces; cooperation with the Syngenta Sustainable Agriculture Development Fund to enhance knowledge of safe VietGAP-compliant vegetable production; cooperation with Binh Dien Fertilizer Company to improve rice production efficiency, increase income for farmers, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, the National Agricultural Extension Center collaborates with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women in Vietnam) to enhance the capacity of women in accessing economic opportunities, resources, agricultural extension, services, agriculture, rural development, climate change adaptation, and natural disaster risk reduction
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