17/09/2014 15:29 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Farmers get help from Australian aid project

Hanoi, September 17 (VNA) – Fruit farmers in the northwest will be able to improve access to markets in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and overseas under a research project promoted by the Australian Government.

This was revealed at the Launch of the ODA-funded Project by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) on September 16.

"The project team will focus their efforts on identifying and developing new and inclusive markets and value-chain opportunities for temperate fruits," said Australian Ambassador Hugh Borrowman.

He added that the large Australian fruit industry would share its extensive research and production experience with Vietnamese researchers and farmers.

The project, which will run until 2018 with a total fund of 1.4 million AUD (1.26 million USD), has four core missions.

The first two are to evaluate nationwide consumers and markets, to correct the plans set by the Government and to improve the development of temperate fruits in the northwest.

The other two core missions are to resolve obstacles limiting the development of markets and identifying points where intervention and change to the supply chain will improve access to domestic and overseas markets.

"Development of temperate fruits is one of the major ways to reduce poverty in the northwest," Le Quoc Doanh, Deputy Minister of MARD said.

He said there were several obstacles to the development of the industry - lack of information about customers' tastes and market drives, inefficient transport and limited knowledge by farmers about markets and technologies.

Three northwest provinces, Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Son La, were selected to pilot the scheme because they are considered the most disadvantaged areas in Vietnam.

For 20 years, Australia has invested in agricultural research and development in Vietnam through the ACIAR.

Scientists from both countries have completed more than 130 projects in crop and livestock production, natural resources management, fisheries, forestry and agricultural research.