Dự án mới/New project: VIRTUAL Australia & Vietnam Organic Agriculture Partnership (VAVOAP)

VIRTUAL Australia & Vietnam Organic Agriculture Partnership (VAVOAP)

Sponsored by

Rotary Club of Hall – Rotary Club of Hall | Connect With Your Community (hallrotary.org.au)

Value AUD$12,000

Period: 2020-2021

Recipient: Mekong Organics PTY LTD

Key Australian and EU Collaborators

In June 2019, Mekong Organics received a grant of AUD$12,000 to host an Australia organic study tour for six Vietnamese organic farmers from the Mekong Delta. We have applied Australia Visas and purchased air tickets for six sponsored farmers in March 2020. However, covid-19 pandemic disrupted this initiative. Consequently, Mekong Organics discussed with the donor to develop this program virtually. The VIRTUAL Australia & Vietnam Organic Partnership (VAVOP) is finally developed to operate in 2021. The partnership comprises two key models:

Model 1: the virtual workshops/seminar to develop a link between Australia & Vietnam through organic agriculture development & movement. This model includes a series of talk and training for organic growers in Vietnam by experts from Australian Organic Industry. Dr. Van Kien Nguyen, CEO of Mekong Organics PTY LTD, Dr Alex Mitchell, General Director of National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA), Mrs Tammy Partridge (General Director NASAA Certify Orgainc), Mr Alan Broughton,  Vice president of Organic Agriculture Association (OAA), Mr John Champagne (PGS) https://www.scpa.org.au/, Mr Tim Marshall, president of Organic Consumers Association of Australia, Associate Prof Paul Kristiansen, Mr Andre Leu, a former IFOAM president, current Director of International Regenerative, Dr Stadtlander Timo, an organic aquaculture expert from Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland), and Mr Naturland (Germany). Other speakers from Vietnam and Mekong countries are explored.

Model 2: Virtual Organic Field Study Tour (Figure 1)

03 staffs from Mekong Organics (Dr. Van Kien Nguyen, Mr Alan Broughton, and Steven Nguyen) will volunteer time (in-kind) to undertake a field trip to film the organic farm operation and undertake on-going virtual discussions between Australian and Vietnamese farmers. The output of the project can be publicly accessible through Mekong Organics YouTube, Website and Facebook.

Figure 1: The model of VIRTUAL Australian & Vietnamese Organic Agriculture Partnership (VAVOAP)

Tentative program

Southern NSW hosts

27-28th March 2021

  • Visit Peter Randal Organic Rice – Organic Rice and Oats | Randall Organic, Peter Randall, organic rice, Farm 1051, 46 Alexanders Rd, Murrami, 02 6955 2278, 0428 225 480.
  • Visit to Rodney & Wendy Heffer, Farm 388 Griffith-Leeton Road, Wamoon

3rd April 2021

From 7th to 13th April 2021

Northern Rivers hosts

Friday April 9th:  Interview Brett Slater, Slater Farms, Kyogle, rice; ZOOM

Featherview Organic Bananas in the afternoon,

Mullumbimby, bananas o/n Lismore – ZOOM

Saturday, April 10th: Lindendale Blueberry Farm, 9.00 am;

Afternoon field day on cover crops for macadamia plantations (time and location not yet confirmed), o/n Lismore – ZOOM

Sunday, April 11th: Interview David Forrest, Organic Forrest, near Lismore, three interviews: coffee, vegetables, citrus, (all day) o/n Lismore  – ZOOM

Monday, April 12th Interview Andrew Price, Reserve Creek Organics, mangoes, ginger; ZOOM

Interview Tony Lattanzi Cudgera Creek Organics, vegetables, both near Pottsville, o/n Lismore -ZOOM

Potential Vietnamese participants/partners for the Webinar and virtual field study organic tours

Research, education, training:

  1. Agriculture and Forestry Research & Development Centre for Mountainous Region (ADC) – Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture & Forestry, Thai Nguyen province research and training
  2. Asian Organic Agricultural Research and Development Institute (AOI), HCM City – consultants and training
  3. Centre for Rural Development-MAULER UNDONG – University of Social Sciences & Humanities Vietnam National University, HCM City – research and training on rural development
  4. Dong Thap Community College, Dong Thap province, Vietnam – vocational education on agriculture
  5. National Institute of Nutrition, Vietnam – research and training on nutrition
  6. Resource Center for Community Development, An Giang University, Vietnam National University – education
  7. The Northern Agriculture and Forestry College (NAFC), Lao Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry, Lao PDR – education on agriculture
  8. others

NGOs and private sectors:

  1. Anh Ba Vietnam (Abavina) PTY, Can Tho City – organic vegetables, beans and root
  2. Ca Bo Dap Organic Rice Cooperative, Soc Trang province – organic rice
  3. Dung Krong Nang Natural Farming – Phu Xuan Commune, Krong Nang District, Dak Lak province (organic pepper and coffee)
  4. Ech Op Farm, Long Xuyen, An Giang province – organic vegetable and fruits
  5. Mekong Youth Farm Network (Y-Farm), Can Tho City – diversity of crops
  6. Minh Phu Mangroves Shrimp Social Enterprise, Ca Mau province – organic shrimp
  7. Tam Viet Farm – Dong Thap province – integrated system
  8. Tay Nguyen Eco-Organic Cooperative, Dak Lak province – organic coffee and pepper
  9. Tu Viet Farm, Kien Giang Province – organic rice
  10. The That Duong Sai Gon Group in HCM City – organic vegetable and food
  11. Tan Dat Organic Rice Cooperative, Vinh Long province – organic rice
  12. Viet Ha Organic Agriculture Co., Ltd. Binh Phuoc province – organic vegetable and fruits
  13. Others

Government:

  1. An Giang Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
  2. Ca Mau Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
  3. Soc Trang Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
  4. Dong Thap Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
  5. Binh Phuoc Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
  6. Lam Dong Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
  7. Kien Giang Department of Science & Technology

Outputs of the project

  1. The first webinar on organic certification and market access (NCO/NASAA) standards was successfully hosted on 10 March 2021. The participants by sector and by country/region were recorded

2. The virtual discussions between Australian organic rice farmer, Peter Randall Organic Rice in Murrami, NSW and Vietnamese Organic Rice Farmers in the Mekong Delta, Tan Dat Organic Rice Cooperative in Trung Ngai Commune, Vung Liem District, Vinh Long province, Lua Mua Tu Viet (Traditional long term rice- Tu Viet Rice) in Chau Thanh Town, Kien Giang province, and Ca Bo Dap Organic Rice Group in Tran De District, Soc Trang province, and in the North East of Vietnam, Long Ho Organic Rice Farmer Group, and the Mekong Organics team members in Vietnam and Australia. There are 16 participants at this meeting. Vietnamese farmers were so interested in learning the innovative weed management using sheep and water management approach in the organic rice farm, the marketing and trade, as well as the added value of the organic rice. A message that Peter Randall sent to the Vietnamese organic farmers is about passion, vision, and well plan, to be successful in organic farming in the long-run.

Photo: Tay Bac women rice farmers were in the zoom using a little smart phone
Photo: Tan Dat Organic Rice Cooperative Members were in the Zoom
Photo: Participants at Tan Dat Organic Rice Cooperative were listing to the water and weed management approach, shared by Peter Randall

3. On 3 April at 12 pm (Brogo, NSW, Australia) or 8 am (Hanoi time zone), a virtual discussion between a small scale Australian organic/permaculture farmers and Vietnamese farmers/farmer groups/cooperatives across Vietnam will be hosted at Mr John Champagne, https://www.scpa.org.au/pages/about-scpa

More than 33 individual zooms accessed to the event. Of which, some individual (group) zoom from Vietnam has over 33 students, 7 rice farmers participated in the event.

Mr John Champagne shared the successful story as well as challenges of the PGS scheme adopted by SCPA group in Brogo/Bega NSW. The group includes 20 farmers which was established 8 years ago.

From Vietnam, Mrs Tu Tuyet Nhung, PGS Vietnam team leader shared history of PGS development, progress, opportunities and challenges to scale up, followed by the presentation of Abavina Group in Can Tho City, Ech Op Farm in Long Xuyen (An Giang), That Duong Gai Gon and Organic Coffee and Pepper Cooperative in Central Highland.

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