FAO in Viet Nam

FAO Success Stories in Viet Nam

Project on risk mitigation and management of human health threats paves way for better skills for animal health workers and farmers

The incursion of African Swine Fever virus in Viet Nam last 2019 exposed the country’s 2.5 million pig-raising households to catastrophic financial losses. The culling of more than six million pigs after ASF spread to all 63 provinces in Viet Nam showed the great need of continually guiding pig farmers to strengthen the implementation of Vietnamese local government staff gain skills on risk mitigation and management

Nguyen Thi My Chau, a 53-year-old farmer, lives with her family in a small commune in the Mekong River Delta province of Ca Mau in Viet Nam.

Amid the pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic disruption as well as an ongoing drought, life for Chau and her family has become increasingly challenging. Normally she takes care of two grandchildren for her son, who migrated to the city for work. Recently, he stopped sending money home as he and his wife had lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Due to the market’s closure and social distancing rules, women have stopped selling vegetables and her vegetable patch and fish pond were seriously damaged by the on-going drought.

Shifting to more proactive drought response in Viet Nam

Learning from the extreme drought that affected large parts of Viet Nam in 2015-2016, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Save the Children International in Viet Nam jointly ịmplemented a project entitled, “Drought forecast-based financing (FbF) for food security, livelihoods and water, sanitation and hygiene in Viet Nam”.  Click for full srory

Forest and farm producers organizations help fuel Viet Nam’s economy

In the northern regions of Viet Nam, forestry and agriculture provide livelihoods for nearly 80 percent of the population. However, nearly half of all households own less than one hectare of land, which often prevents farmers from earning the income they need. To help smallholder farmers find ways to raise their incomes – while sustainably using forest resources – the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) partnered with the Viet Nam National Farmers’ Union (VNFU) to support farming families in forming life-changing cooperatives. Click to read full story

FAO is working to inspire the youth of Viet Nam to become innovators and partners in the sustainable development of the country’s agriculture sector.

As the future custodians of sustainable agriculture development and food security, youth have a key role to play in Viet Nam’s future – especially with more than 40 per cent of the nation’s population employed in the sector.

To inspire young people to view the agriculture sector as a dynamic employment option, since September 2017, FAO Viet Nam launched the project “Building Coalition with Youth in Sustainable Development through Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries” in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Youth Union.

The centerpiece of the project, conducted in the northeastern province of Bac Kan where youth make up one-third of the population and 40 per cent of the predominantly agriculture-focussed labour force, was a contest for youth to showcase innovative, tech-savvy ideas to develop the agriculture sector in a sustainable manner.

Financed by the India – Brazil – South Africa (IBSA) Trust Fund, the project on Establishment of Rice Seed Production Hub in Da nang City has been implemented by Da Nang Department of Agriculture  and Rural Development (DARD), with FAO's technical expertise, with a total budget of US$ 529,000. The Project Document was signed on November 2011 and the project implementation finished in November 2014.
The People’s Committee of Da Nang city was the project’s main counterpart. FAO Viet Nam, as executing agency, provided appropriate technical support services. Da Nang DARD was the local implementing agency which, together with FAO project team, liaised with all stakeholders and agencies to ensure complementarities with other interventions and local ownership of project activities.

Viet Nam has achieved a significant improvement in maternal and child nutrition during the last three decades, but reducing the extent of malnutrition remains a public health priority. There are significant differences in food consumption habits and patterns between peoples living in the midlands and mountainous areas, urban and rural environments, and among different ethnic groups.

Among children under five years of age, the rates for underweight and stunting are 20.2 percent and 35.8 percent respectively. It has been reported that an estimated 27 percent of mothers with children less than five suffer from chronic energy deficiency. Viet Nam has one of the lowest levels of breastfeeding in Southeast Asia. Only 57 percent of babies are breastfed within the first hour of birth despite 80 percent of deliveries occurring in health facilities. Only 17 percent of babies are breastfed exclusively during the first six months of life. In addition, only 41 percent of infant children aged six to 11 months are given appropriate complementary food.

Though small-scale fisheries employ millions of Vietnamese, they struggle to achieve food security. Fish stocks are increasingly depleted because of fishing overcapacity, conflicts over access to fisheries and inadequate fisheries management. Because fishing communities make important but often poorly recognized contributions to the food security and development of many millions of people and to national and regional economies, FAO and Viet Nam are working to improve the sector in a number of areas.

The fisheries project entitled Small-scale brackish water fish cage culture with vulnerable households was implemented in the village of Hai Tien in the coastal town of Thuan An. The target group was the most vulnerable households, especially mothers with children who were rescued from big cities. Because of their low income, many families sent their children to big cities such as Ho Chi Minh to work as cheap labour so they could supplement the family income.

FAO ECTAD is successfully carrying out disease surveillance in livestock in general, and for HPAI in particular. This support has helped the Department of Animal Health to successfully upgrade the Transboundry Animal Disease Information System (TAD-info®) which is a data management system fully dedicated to animal and zoonotic disease information management and analysis, plus the Laboratory Information System (LabNet), in development and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the Regional Animal Health Offices (RAHO) and in veterinary epidemiology capacity building. TAD-info® has served as the official livestock disease reporting system for Viet Nam’s government for HPAI and other diseases. The disease reporting system has been established in 64 provincial Sub-Departments of Animal Health (SDAH). Today, 210 officers from SDAH, 14 RAHO staff and 5 DAH Epidemiology staff have increased their capacity to use this software through training. FAO has also developed database System Software for Laboratory Diagnostic Management within the DAH’s LabNet, which helps in the management of a laboratory network comprising nine referral laboratories for livestock disease diagnosis and surveillance including HPAI.

The collection and processing of natural raw material from forested areas and the production of handicrafts (usually during times when there is little farm work) constitute the most important sources of additional locally realized income for farmers. In fact, it is primarily the additional income generated from handicraft production or the collection of raw materials that decides whether or not the smallholder farmer can lead a life below or above the national poverty line.

Being mainly export-oriented, the Vietnamese handicrafts sector is internationally recognized by suppliers as one of the most competitive among developing countries. In general, handicrafts are produced at the household level, whereas raw material supply, product finishing and packaging are mostly undertaken by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Several hundred crafts exporters and some international corporations sourcing in Viet Nam work with large producer networks throughout the country and are providing employment for 1.35 million people in 2,000 villages.

IMOLA is a trust-fund project implemented by FAO and jointly funded by the Italian and Vietnamese governments. The project started in August 2005 and is aimed at assisting Thua Thien Hue province to promote the livelihoods of local fishers through the sound and sustainable management of natural resources in the Tam Giang - Cau Hai Lagoon, which is the largest lagoon system in Southeast Asia.

As both the population and the economy of Thua Thien Hue province are growing, the Tam Giang-Cau Hai Lagoon ecosystem has come under increasing pressure. Over-exploitation of fisheries resources by capture fisheries and encroachment on critical habitats by aquaculture ponds are key contributors to the deterioration of fisheries resources.