On the morning of July 6th, 2023, At the People’s Committee of Van Duc commune, Gia Lam district, Hanoi city, the project Safe Food for Growth Project (SAFEGRO) and the People’s Committee of Van Duc commune held a workshop to introduce the SAFEGRO Project to stakeholders and to present the intervention plan to be implemented in Van Duc commune. This activity is under the framework of the Collaboration Plan to assist Hanoi in developing some sustainable agri-product value chains between the Department of Quality, Processing and Market Development, the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development of Hanoi and the SAFEGRO.
The conference was attended by: Mr. Nguyen Van Thuan – Head of the Quality and Organic Agriculture Division (under the Department of Quality, Processing and Market Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), and member of the Project Coordination Committee (PCC); Ms. Phan Thi Phuong Thao – Project Manager, SAFEGRO; and relevant experts from the SAFEGRO. For the part of local authorities, there were representatives of leaders of the following units: Commune Party Committee;, People’s Council, People’s Committee, Vietnam Commune Fatherland Front, Veterans Association, Women’s Union, Farmers’ Union, Youth Union, Kindergarten, Primary School, Secondary School of Van Duc Commune and actors participating in the vegetable value chain of Van Duc Cooperative.
At the conference, Ms. Phan Thi Phuong Thao – the project manager, made an overall introduction of the project and its key activities, including the model of Van Duc cooperative. The inclusion of this area has been greed by Hanoi DARD and SAFEGRO for the project intervention.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Nguyen Van Thuan emphasized: “The project’s activities will be not only about food safety but also other relevant activities pertaining to sustainable production and growth, application of innovative and climate smart technologies, green growth, digital transformation, value-added products, community based supervision, etc. These will be implemented during the project implementation timeframe.
With the goal to assist in developing safe vegetable value chain and improving awareness of gender-responsive food safety for Van Duc commune, Ms. Tran Thi Dinh – the project’s food safety specialist, presented the project’s intervention plan 2023-2024 for Van Duc, specifically:
- Support the vegetable value chain of Van Duc Cooperative through provision of training for farmers at the stage of production and packing in accordance with VietGAP, HACCP standards, and support the cooperative to obtain these certifications; guiding and supporting the application of e-traceability, e-farm diary; establishment of a community facilitation group; provision of equipment and management software for the cooperative; provision of training on production and business management; supporting for branding and trademark, trade promotion, marketing; communication to raise awareness about food safety for the local market management board, traders and consumers…
- Support for the Van Duc market to improve the capacity of the market management board; raising awareness and practice of food safety handling for the traders in the market; providing some equipment and tools to help improving food safety conditions for the market and the traders; monitoring the food safety practices at the market
- Develop a gender-responsive food safety community model in the commune, including: provision of training on gender-mainstreamed food safety, improvement of leadership skills for members of the commune women’s union and farmers’ union; providing some teaching materials, developing the curriculum that integrates relevant food safety topics for the commune’s pre-school, primary school and lower secondary school, and improving food safety conditions at the school kitchen.
All the participants at the conference have discussed enthusiastically and openly, and highly agreed on the intervention plan to support the safe vegetable value chain involving the Van Duc cooperative and the gender-responsive food safety community model under the stage 1 (i.e. FY 2023-2024). All pertinent comments and recommendations shared by the participants have been accepted for finalization by the project executing agency.
Upon the presentation has been made by the Project and the comments have been shared by the participants, Ms. Tran Thi Hai, the Secretary of Van Duc Commune Party Committee, on behalf of the leadership of the commune authorities and the socio-political organizations and mass organizations, has highly appreciated the interventions to be supported by the project for Van Duc commune, and expressed commitment to direct and urge relevant agencies, units and organizations in the commune to closely collaborate with the Project to effectively implement the project’s interventions, thus contributing its part to ensure food safety, enhancing the value and the brand-name of vegetable products of Van Duc in particular, and the agri-products of Van Duc in general. An innovative thing that I am very interested in is the project’s approach to engaging participation of the whole community (socio-political organizations, mass organizations…) and aiming towards a brighter future for the next generations.
In his conclusion remarks, Mr. Nguyen Van Thuan – Head of Quality and Organic Agriculture Division under the Department of Quality, Processing and Market Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and member of the Project Coordination Committee thanked the leadership of the Commune People’s Committee, representatives of socio-political organizations, members of the community facilitator group of Van Duc commune for their enthusiastic and responsible participation in the conference; acknowledge practical and useful comments. Mr. Thuan also emphasized the important role of gender in developing sustainable safe vegetable areas in Van Duc. The project intervention at Van Duc is expected to be a successful demonstrative model for replication by other communities across the country, and also one of the symbols marking 50 years of cooperation relation between Vietnam and Canada.
Additional introduction of Van Duc commune
Van Duc commune is a purely agricultural commune, its economy mainly comes from agricultural production and animal husbandry development; their agricultural production land is the intensive land for safe vegetable production; their animal husbandry involve mainly pig farming. Van Duc has a total natural land area of 666.07 ha, including: 312.69ha of non-agricultural land, accounting for 52.1% of the total natural land area; 346.94ha of agricultural production land; 6.44ha of unused land 6.44 ha. The commune has a population of 8,016 people, including 2,013 households residing in the 5 villages of the commune. Social security and social order is basically guaranteed, the economy experiences continued growth, and people’s living standards are being gradually improved.