by Van Kien Nguyen
Dear valued trainers, trainees, businesses and donor
So far we have run over three weeks of the training course, with 6 sections in chapter 1, one Australia-Vietnam organic food trade forum on 12 Nov 2021 (with one Australian business and 03 Vietnamese businesses in organic rice and rice products; one section on Australian organic market, by Tim Marshall, chair of NASAA; and 4 out of 14 sections in Chapter 3.
We have a great number of online participants in zoom (over 220/section), and over direct 30 youtube watchers during the event. We also received thousands of likes and followers in Facebook: MekongOrganics – https://www.facebook.com/MekongOrganics.since2018; and hundreds of views in each section in our youtube channel Mekong Organics – YouTube
This is a great success of the training course so far.
We have received active engagement of participants from various backgrounds, women and men organic vegetables, fruits, herb, livestock farmers, farm owners, organic businesses operators; and government departments from DARD, MARD, and sub-DARD; cooperatives; and associations (VOAA), NGOs, local social enterprises, local ecological grower groups…..It is amazing that we have a diversity of participants in the course, that is the principle of organic agriculture.
As we can see that many smallholder farmers across Vietnam who are practising in organic & agroecological farming are very active in engaging the training course, providing insightful questions, knowledge sharing, and trust-building through the learning process. It was evident that from a few questions at the very first section to over 50 questions from the participants to the most recent technical sections, were raised to the trainers.
One notable achievement of the course is trust-building among trainers and trainees, and among trainees. Consequently, business development between trainees and trainees has been established through the training sections and the Australia-Vietnam organic food trade forum. A quote from Mr Doan Van Tai on 13 November 2021, the manager of Tan Dat Organic Rice Cooperative in Vinh Long province reported that “Dr Kien!, after the forum on 12 Nov 2021, our Cooperative received 03 business orders from wholesale and retail shops in the Central Highlands, and over 28 consumers ordered medicinal purple organic rice, many thanks to Dr Kien, Mekong Organics and the team”.
The structure, design of the training course covers the whole NETWORK chain approach; from very general issues to specific topics; from concepts to practical solutions, from social to technical, economic aspects. From farming to processing, branding, marketing, cultural & tourism and trade.
Impressively, our project team received much positive feedback together with some advice for better improvement in the early sections. We appreciate your valuable feedback during the course. That helps us to improve the services of care for our participants, our clients, and our community. For example, we received two impactful reflection stories from a farmer participant from Can Tho, many Stt in the Mekong Organics Facebook; personal Facebook of the participants.
I wish to quote a most recent reflection from Dr Tran Thi Thanh Binh, Director of the Center for Organic Agriculture, Vietnam National University of Forestry, Vietnam on her personal Facebook as
Lastly, I wish to share with you a happy face from a women farmer in Hai Duong province, North of Vietnam, who raised a very practical question for Mr Alan Broughton on 22 NOV 2021, with the section on making and using organic fertilizers.
You may watch the Youtube Live of the lecture here https://studio.youtube.com/video/L43cyv1M1SM/edit
A long journey with many exciting sections is waiting for YOU!