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Báo cáo nghiên cứu nông nghiệp " Improving the safety and quality of Vietnamese vegetables through research and capacity building in quality assurance, postharvest management and high technology protected cropping systems "

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Báo cáo nghiên cứu nông nghiệp " Improving the safety and quality of Vietnamese vegetables through research and capacity building in quality assurance, postharvest management and high technology protected cropping systems "

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Protected cropping provides vegetable growers with an opportunity to enhance product quality and improve food safety. The overall objective of this project was to provide Vietnamese scientists and extension specialists with the training and tools to implement and foster regionally feasible improvements to current vegetable production practices and supply chains. This was achieved through: 1) greenhouse replicated experiments and demonstration trials in Northern, Central and Southern Vietnam; 2) four in-country workshops and 3) two Australian study tours for research and extension personnel. Key highlights of the project have included: 1) Adaptation of technologies by both farmers and researchers to Vietnamese conditions; 2) Utilisation of hydroponic systems in both...

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  1. Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development Completion Report Improving the safety and quality of Vietnamese vegetables through research and capacity building in quality assurance, postharvest management and high technology protected cropping systems Project 004/04VI 1
  2. Table of Contents 1. Institute Information ___________________________________________________ 1 2. Project Abstract _______________________________________________________ 3 3. Executive Summary ____________________________________________________ 3 4. Introduction & Background _____________________________________________ 4 5. Progress to Date _______________________________________________________ 5 5.1 Implementation Highlights ________________________________________________ 5 5.1.1 Protected cropping trials ________________________________________________________ 5 5.1.2 Evaluation of Vietnamese cocopeat _______________________________________________ 5 5.1.3 Capacity building of research and extension personnel ________________________________ 7 5.1.4 Fostering practice-change in farmers and other supply chain partners ____________________ 10 5.1.5 Supply chains mapped ________________________________________________________ 12 5.2 Smallholder Benefits_____________________________________________________ 13 5.3 Capacity Building _______________________________________________________ 13 5.4 Publicity _______________________________________________________________ 14 5.5 Project Management ____________________________________________________ 14 6. Report on Cross-Cutting Issues__________________________________________ 14 6.1 Environment ___________________________________________________________ 14 6.2 Gender and Social Issues _________________________________________________ 14 7. Implementation & Sustainability Issues ___________________________________ 14 7.1 Issues and Constraints ___________________________________________________ 14 7.2 Options________________________________________________________________ 14 7.3 Sustainability___________________________________________________________ 15 8. Next Critical Steps ____________________________________________________ 15 9. Conclusion __________________________________________________________ 15 1
  3. 1. Institute Information Project Name Improving the safety and quality of Vietnamese vegetables through research and capacity building in quality assurance, postharvest management and high technology protected cropping systems. Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute Vietnamese Institution (FAVRI) Trau Quy, Gia Lam, Hanoi Vietnamese Project Team Leader Associate Prof. Dr. Tran Khac Thi Australian Organisation Industry and Investment, NSW (formerly NSW DPI) Gosford Primary Industries Institute Centre of Excellence in Market Access and Greenhouse Horticulture Incorporating the National Centre for Greenhouse Horticulture Australian Personnel Dr Suzie Newman (Australian Project Leader) Dr Sophie Parks Mr Joseph Ekman Dr Vong Nguyen (retired, former Project Leader) 30th September 2005 Date commenced 30th September 2007 Completion date (original) 31st May 2008 Completion date (revised) Reporting period Final Report Contact Officer(s) In Australia: Team Leader Dr Suzie Newman +61 2 4348 1934 Name: Telephone: Project Leader, +61 2 4348 1910 Position: Fax: Research Horticulturist Organisation Industry and suzie.newman@industry.nsw.gov.au Email: Investment, NSW (formerly NSW 1
  4. Department of Primary Industries) In Australia: Administrative contact Name: Mr Graham Denney Telephone: Manager External Position: Fax: Funding Organisation Industry and graham.denney@industry.nsw.gov.au Email: Investment, NSW In Vietnam Associate Prof. Dr. Tran Khac Thi 84-4-8276316 Name: Telephone: Project Leader, Deputy Director, Position: Fax: 84-4-8276148 Head of Vegetable and Spice Department vrqhn@hn.vnn.vn; Organisation Fruit and Vegetable Research Email: tkthi@vnn.vn Institute (FAVRI) 2
  5. 2. Project Abstract Protected cropping provides vegetable growers with an opportunity to enhance product quality and improve food safety. The overall objective of this project was to provide Vietnamese scientists and extension specialists with the training and tools to implement and foster regionally feasible improvements to current vegetable production practices and supply chains. This was achieved through: 1) greenhouse replicated experiments and demonstration trials in Northern, Central and Southern Vietnam; 2) four in-country workshops and 3) two Australian study tours for research and extension personnel. Key highlights of the project have included: 1) Adaptation of technologies by both farmers and researchers to Vietnamese conditions; 2) Utilisation of hydroponic systems in both a research and demonstration trial context; 3) Enhanced capacity of Vietnamese research and extension personnel and 4) Economic analysis of protected cropping systems for tomatoes and cucumbers. 3. Executive Summary Vietnamese consumer demands for safe and high quality vegetables, have led to a re- examination of current production methods. Protected cropping including rain shelters, net houses and greenhouse structures, provides one alternative system that can not only improve quality out-turn, facilitate counter-seasonal production but also lead to reduced pesticide usage and associated food safety concerns. This project was designed to build capacity in the design and utilisation of such systems and the components of such systems eg. hydroponic systems in a Vietnamese context. The overall objective of this project was to provide Vietnamese scientists and extension specialists with the training and tools to implement and foster regionally feasible improvements to current vegetable production practices and supply chains. The project was led by the Fruit and Vegetables Research Institute (FAVRI) with Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry (HUAF) and the Institute of Agricultural Sciences for South Vietnam (IAS) as the Vietnamese project partners. NSW Department of Primary Industries (now Industry and Investment, NSW) was the Australian partner. Key achievements of the project have included: • A series of trials (10 replicated and 4 on-farm demonstration trials) were undertaken looking at a number of production aspects (including variety, growing media, method of nutrient application and irrigation) and comparing field and greenhouse production of tomatoes and cucumbers in Hanoi, Lam Dong and Hue. This has enabled recommendations to be made regarding appropriate varieties and growing media for protected cropping systems. • Vietnamese cocopeat quality was characterised (pH, salinity, colour, water holding capacity etc.), the water usage of different greenhouse media including coir was compared and recommendations were made for the improvement of QA procedures at a Vietnamese cocopeat supplier. • Seven scientific and conference papers were published in Vietnamese and International journals • Supply chains were mapped for 1) tomatoes and tomato seedling production and 2) Metro vegetable supply chains from Dalat 3
  6. • Capacity building of research and extension personnel particularly in the use of hydroponic systems, greenhouse design, postharvest management and GAP systems. This included training in-country, ‘hands-on’ trial work, but also 8 personnel undertook 4 week study tours in Australia • Adaptation and application of new technology and practices by Mr Nguyen Hong Phong, vegetable farmer and seedling producer from Lam Dong province. By the end of the project this lead farmer was influencing the practices of others through the formation of a farmer group selling into Metro and the Saigon Co-opmart. • Technical expertise and assistance was also provided to a number of entrerprises including a cocopeat supplier, high technology greenhouse centres in Hanoi and Haiphong and farmer groups in Hue and Can Tho. • Four workshops attracting a total of 275 participants (research and extension personnel, provincial agricultural officers, farmers and other supply chain partners) were delivered in Ho Chi Minh, Ha Noi, Can Tho and Dalat. The workshop covered protected cropping systems, supply chain management and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). 4. Introduction & Background Protected cropping systems provide vegetable farmers with the opportunity to produce high yielding, good quality crops with reduced pesticide inputs. Our previous AusAID-CARD project (0016) focussed on development of a low-tech greenhouse system to enhance the productivity and sustainability of the Vietnamese vegetable industry. The nethouse with run- to-waste cocopeat system was shown to be an effective and cost effective model, however further optimisation and extension of this technology was required to facilitate successful adoption. This project focused on providing the tools for optimising vegetable production in low-medium technology greenhouses and delivering high quality product to market. This was achieved through formal and informal training initiatives including in-country workshops, intensive Australian based training programs for research and extension staff and a series of research demonstration trials. This project uses a participatory research approach to foster uptake by both Vietnamese institutions and key stakeholders (farmers, extension agents, supply chain partners). The objectives of this project were to: 1. Facilitate the wider implementation and adoption of protected cropping systems of low to medium technology (greenhouses/net houses) that require fewer chemical inputs through targeted research and extension activities; 2. Examine current supply chain constraints and utilise quality assurance principles to implement targeted system improvements; 3. Enhance Vietnamese R&D capacity in the areas of protected cropping systems, postharvest management and quality assurance systems. 4. Fostering links between growers, wholesalers, traders and researchers to increase the productivity and competitiveness of Vietnamese smallholder agriculture and related rural enterprises 4
  7. 5. Progress to Date 5.1 Implementation Highlights Whilst details of achievements have been previously highlighted in milestone reports, this section revisits and summarises those key achievements. 5.1.1 Protected cropping trials A series of replicated and demonstration trials were undertaken by researchers and extension project personnel in Hanoi, Hue and Lam Dong to compare protected cropping and traditional field based systems. Experiments were undertaken to evaluate growing media, tomato and cucumber variety performance and the use of hydroponic systems. This work produced 7 publications in international and Vietnamese scientific literature (refer Milestone 7). The results from these trials also enabled recommendations in extension publications produced regarding the application of protected cropping systems (refer Milestone 8). Not only were tangible outputs in terms of both scientific papers and extension resources produced but research and extension personnel’s ability in undertaking robust, independent and well designed trial work was enhanced. Photo 1: FAVRI hydroponic lettuce trial Photo 2: Demonstration trial Lam Dong 5.1.2 Evaluation of Vietnamese cocopeat Australian and European standards for measuring the physical and chemical characteristics of growing media were used to evaluate Vietnamese coir and compare it to other samples in the Australian marketplace. Table 1 shows the results from the heavy metal analysis undertaken for a range of different samples. A commercial operation in the Mekong Delta was also visited and recommendations provided on how they could improve the QA aspects of their business. Developing the market share for Vietnam coir products for use in the greenhouse and hydroponic industries requires an understanding of product use demands and focus on process management to consistently achieve product performance characteristics. 5
  8. Colour Aluminium Arsenic Cadmium Chromium Copper Nickel Lead Selenium Zinc Sample type Source origin Colour code mg/kg mg/kg mg/kg mg/kg mg/kg mg/kg mg/kg mg/kg mg/kg 2.4* 3* 0.9* 1* 0.9* 1.3* 1.7* 6.6* 1.1* Sample of unknown Greyed Unknown 166 D 1100
  9. • assessment and profiling of raw material inputs to establish the degree of variability in supply; • establishing critical limits for the salt washing process step to ensure that residual salt concentrations are within specifications; • monitor the fibre separation step and steps following to reduce the variability in fibre size or re-engineer the separation step to improve grading of fibres at that point. The business needs to set quality benchmarks and monitoring practices at key steps in the process in order to verify that a consistent end product quality is achieved. Formal adoption of a quality management standard is not required but may increasingly be demanded by international customers such as WalMart. However, product quality consistency can be improved through targeting improvements and monitoring key steps in the process, using quality systems approaches to minimising non-conformance. This may enhance productive output and also minimise re-work and waste. Other issues that may require consideration are diseases and biosecurity concerns. 5.1.3 Capacity building of research and extension personnel This was a key focus of the project and was achieved in a number of ways including 1) working collaboratively with Australian colleagues on joint protected cropping trials; 2) participating in Australian study tours to look at what can be learned from the Australian industry and how this could be modified and adapted to Vietnamese conditions and 3) the introduction and trialing of simple low-tech innovations. An example of this was the hydroponic systems detailed in Milestone 5 (and included as an example here). Study tours to Australia were undertaken by 6 Vietnamese scientists and extension personnel (Ms Ngo Thi Hanh (RIFAV), Mr Vu Tuan Minh (HUAF), Mr Ngo Xuan Chinh (IAS), Mrs Nguyen Thi An (FAVRI, formerly RIFAV), Mr Ngo Minh Dung (IAS), Mr Nguyen Dinh Thi (HUAF) ) for a 4 week period in 2005 and 2006. Travel reports were produced by the Vietnamese team and included in Milestone 5. On the 2006 study tour, participants from the research institutes were also joined by vegetable grower and nursery specialist, Mr Nguyen Hong Phong from Lam Dong province. His inclusion on the study tour particularly assisted the team in looking at how Australian technology may be modified to enable it to be utilised in Vietnam. Training focused on both field and greenhouse vegetable production, postharvest and supply chain management and implementing Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). Field visits to low tech (Sydney Basin) and high tech (Yanco, Gosford) greenhouses and farms also encouraged training participants to consider how they could adapt such technology to Vietnamese conditions. In addition to visiting numerous farms, training participants also visited Sydney Wholesale Markets, and an importing and export business to enable them to understand Australian supply chains and quality requirements. Visits to research stations at Gosford and Yanco provided the visitors with an insight into the types of research and extension projects undertaken by NSW DPI and how R&D programs are managed in Australia. 7
  10. Photo 5. Study Team 1 - Ms Ngo Thi Hanh Photo 6. Study Team 2 -Mrs Nguyen (RIFAV), Mr Vu Tuan Minh (HUAF), Mr Thi An (FAVRI, formerly RIFAV), Mr Ngo Xuan Chinh (IAS) visit greenhouse Nguyen Dinh Thi (HUAF) and Mr vegetable producers in Sydney Basin, Nguyen Hong Phong (farmer, Lam together with Dr Vong Nguyen, Dr Suzie Dong) learning how to measure Newman and Dr Ho Dang. postharvest quality attributes of fresh produce. The uptake and development of hydroponic systems by Vietnamese Research Institutes All four Vietnamese Research Institute partners in this project have successfully implemented hydroponic growing systems. Training periods in Australia have enabled them to learn how to build and run the systems successfully in both a research and commercial context. Visits to Australian hydroponic farms such as Pacific Hydroponics, Gosford and Atkinsons, Griffith have demonstrated how these systems are used commercially in Australia. Training by Dr Parks and Worrall has focussed on getting the best out of these systems including management of EC and appropriate growing media. Crop management practices have also been central to this training. During this project we have seen the successful development and adaptation of these systems to Vietnamese growing conditions. The group at IAS has also undertaken on-farm trials testing these systems. During visits by the Australian team we have provided advice on how system and crop management can be improved. During our visit in February 2006, we also visited the Hanoi Seed Company in Hanoi and a high technology greenhouse park in Hai Phong to address problems that they were having with their growing system in their greenhouse complex. Following our visit Dr Parks also provided additional information and advice on how they could improve their production practices. 8
  11. Photo 7. Ms Anh (FAVRI) with the Photo 8. The hydroponic system at FAVRI – hydroponic system she has constructed. This April 2007 is her second crop using this system. April 2007. Photo 9. The hydroponic system at FAVRI – Photo 10. The hydroponic system at HUAF April 2007 being tested by Mr Thi – April 2007 Photo 11. Dr Ba and her hydroponic system Photo 12. Testing hydroponic systems at at Can Tho University – May 2007. (Dr Ba Can Tho University –May 2007. undertook part of her PhD studies at Gosford Horticultural Institute with Drs Parks and Nguyen) 9
  12. 5.1.4 Fostering practice-change in farmers and other supply chain partners A series of workshops on protected cropping systems, supply chain management and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) took place during the life of the project. These workshops were designed not only as information sessions but also to facilitate discussion between farmers and supply chain partners on 1) improving product handling; 2) alternative market options; 3) food safety and 4) GAP systems and their implementation. Much of the discussion also centered on the opportunities around protected cropping systems. Workshops were conducted in 4 locations during the course of the project. These were: • Workshop 1: 13-15th February, 2006, Ho Chi Minh, 72 registered delegates • Workshop 2: 20-22nd February, 2006, Ha Noi, 109 delegates • Workshop 3: 27-28th April, 2007, Can Tho, 82 registered delegates • Workshop 4: 3-4th May, 2007, Da Lat, 70 registered delegates Details on these workshops can be found in previous milestone and travel reports (Milestone reports 3 and 6, Travel reports February 2006 and May 2007). Proceedings were produced for each workshop, with different local papers at each location. These can be obtained from Dr Thi or Dr Newman upon request. Each of these workshops also included field visits enabling workshop participants to discuss material presented during the presentations in a more relaxed informal manner. In addition to the workshops held in region, the project team also regularly provided technical advice to different farmers, farmer groups, greenhouse high-technology centres and a cocopeat producer. Perhaps the best illustration of the impact of this is the case study of Mr Nguyen Hong Phong, a project collaborator who produces seedlings and vegetables in Lam Dong Province. Mr Nguyen Hong Phong, Vegetable farmer and seedling producer, Lam Dong Province Throughout the course of the project, Mr Phong has been improving his seedling production and farming operation at Duc Trong in Lam Dong province and these improvements may be partially attributed to the training and on-going technical support he has received as a part of this project. This training has included: • the Australian study tour from the 2nd-29th July 2006 • advice provided by the Australian project team during their visits to his farm in February 2006, May 2006, October 2006 and May 2007 • assistance with acquiring and setting up 2 mechanical precision air seeders • ongoing technical assistance provided by Dr Vinh’s vegetable group at IAS. Uptake of technology and improvements to current practice has included: • the commissioning of 2 mechanical precision air seeders to enable Mr Phong to increase seedling output (Photos 13 and 14) • the improvement of working conditions for workers carrying out grafting operations. When we visited in February 2006, workers were undertaking grafting operations outside under netting but they now work in a purpose built shed. This has not only benefited workers but has led to greater efficiencies in the seedling operation (Photos 15 and 16). • he has constructed a 100m2 shed for postharvest operations. In this shed he cleans, grades and packs tomatoes, cabbages, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, sweet potato and potato. He sources product from other farms and has about 10 workers in the packing 10
  13. shed. In 2007-2008, he supplied Saigon Co-opmart with 60-100 tonnes of vegetables per month. Photo 13. Installing the mechanical Photo 14. Mechanical precision air seeders precision air seeder – February 2006 improving production efficiency – April 2007 Photo 15. Grafting operation carried out in Photo 16. New grafting set-up in specially greenhouse – February 2006 constructed shed with improved efficiency – April 2007 Photo 17. Mr Phong implementing new Photo 18. Tomato variety trial on Mr practices in his greenhouse. A variety trial in Phong’s property – April 2007 his greenhouse April 2007 11
  14. Photo 19. Experimenting with new Photo 20. CARD team visit Mr Phong’s techniques Mr Phong’s greenhouse April postharvest operation 2007 • Following his trip to Australia, Mr Phong rapidly adopted hydroponic growing and adapted the system to make it suitable for use in Vietnam. He has also implemented changes in the way he manages his crop based on what he saw in Australia (Photos 17-20) • Mr Phong is keen to experiment with new varieties and has run a number of field and greenhouse variety trials on his property. (Photos 17-20). • Mr Phong’s greenhouse tomato trials have yielded between 20-40 kg/m2 depending on variety and growing season. He is directly marketing this product into supermarkets under his name ‘Hong Phong’. Mr Phong can truly be considered a farmer ‘champion’ and with his seedling operation producing seedlings for many farmers in the region, it is likely that the uptake by other farmers will be high. In fact he has joined with 7 other farmers to produce and market vegetables into supermarkets. They have been successful in gaining contracts with Saigon Co-opmart and Metro. He is also planning to expand his operations to include 3 ha of plastic houses, 10 ha of net houses and 14 ha of open field safe vegetable production. His position as a seedling producer is likely to have a major impact on tomato production throughout the region, facilitating the adoption of new technologies and approaches. Engaging farmers in study tours has certainly been a successful approach in encouraging rapid adoption of techniques and we would certainly recommend this approach in future projects. 5.1.5 Supply chains mapped As detailed in Milestone 4, supply chains were mapped for 2 supply chains: 1) Mr Phong’s tomato seedling and vegetable operation and 2) Metro’s Dalat vegetable supply chain. Key problems with handling operations were identified and solutions proposed. Mr Phong has subsequently implemented some of these improvements with the implementation of his new postharvest operations. Details of these supply chains can be sourced from Milestone 4. 12
  15. 5.2 Smallholder Benefits Smallholders have and will benefit from this project in two ways: 1) Directly – through attendance at project training workshops, receiving direct technical advice from the project team or through the provision of project training materials eg. tomato and cucumber production factsheets. Through these interactions awareness has also been raised regarding opportunities for implementing alternative technologies (eg. the range of protected cropping options, hydroponic systems) or systems (eg. GAP). Whilst farmers may not act directly on this information or potential options, down the track they may look to pursue some of these opportunities. 2) Indirectly – much of the focus of this project has been on building the capacity of scientific and extension personnel at institutes involved in the project. By investing in these key people they will be better placed to service the needs of smallholders. Linkages were also made between high-tech greenhouses centres in Hanoi and Haiphong and FAVRI technical experts to enable them to service some of their more high-end technical needs. Dr Parks also provided services to these businesses. In addition to this the inclusion of farmer champions such as Mr Phong in the project is likely to have a long term benefit for vegetable producers in Lam Dong. As he looks to expand his enterprise and associated farmer group, the changes that he has made to his business in both production and marketing will continue to impact other farmers well beyond the life of this project. Options for linking smallholders with Metro were also explored through a series of consultations. As greenhouse producers are aiming for the top-end of the market, the best specifications for them to utilise are those developed by the supermarkets. As part of this project we held a series of discussions with Metro to discuss quality specifications, quality assurance and how Metro goes about engaging farmers. At our workshop in Can Tho, a number of the farmers asked specific questions of the Metro Can Tho management in how they might look to become a Metro supplier. Metro specifications for tomatoes and cucumber were included in Milestone 8. Discussions with the Metro Supply Chain Manager in Ho Chi Minh revealed that Metro often has difficulty meeting these specifications. They were actively seeking engagement with farmer groups through projects such as ours, as a way of trying to source product that was produced to their specifications. Whilst in the case of our project we had completed our training activities there is certainly the potential for other AusAID CARD projects to follow up on this (and indeed later projects have formed good links with Metro). Metro was very keen to work in with projects that were providing farmer groups training in improved crop management and postharvest handling. Projects such as this have the opportunity to identify farmer groups that through project and commercial training initiatives will enable them to supply into supermarkets. This is particularly important for projects such as this where by introducing high-end technology, suppliers need to look towards supplying more high-end markets. 5.3 Capacity Building Capacity building has been the major focus of this project and has been detailed in earlier sections of this report and more specifically in Milestones 5 and 8. 13
  16. 5.4 Publicity A number of articles have been produced during the life of the project (and detailed in earlier reports), with contributions also being made to the AusAID-CARD newsletter. 5.5 Project Management Previous project management issues have been detailed in previous reports. 6. Report on Cross-Cutting Issues 6.1 Environment Training project staff in Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) is one of the main focuses of the training provided in this project. In July 2006, Vietnamese project staff undertook training on Quality Assurance systems and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). There visit was timely as FreshCare was at the time finalizing their environmental module. Joseph Ekman (project team member and QA extension officer) is one of the key developers of this module and so he was able to present the latest information and developments to our Vietnamese counterparts. They were then able to see QA systems in operation through their visits to farms who had implemented FreshCare. Training participants were encouraged to think through how such systems could be implemented in Vietnam. With the release of ASEAN GAP guidelines, it is likely that Vietnam will look to further develop a GAP system and trained extension specialists will be required to develop and implement this system. At the present time the Vietnamese vegetable industry falls short of the environmental requirements under many GAP systems with use of non-composted farm manure, unregistered chemicals and inadequate with-holding periods. Providing plant protection officers and extension specialists with knowledge on GAP systems and how they are implemented should assist Vietnam with the uptake of these systems over the next few years. 6.2 Gender and Social Issues Gender and social issues have been addressed as they have come up during the life of the project. Both genders have been well represented on both the Vietnamese and Australian project teams. All training programs have been well attended by both men and women. 7. Implementation & Sustainability Issues 7.1 Issues and Constraints These have been addressed in previous reports and will not be addressed further here. 7.2 Options Given this is the final report this will not be addressed here. 14
  17. 7.3 Sustainability Sustainability issues have been previously addressed. 8. Next Critical Steps As this is the final report, there are no next critical steps for the implementation of this project. 9. Conclusion The project has met its key objectives and delivered on all project milestones. The overall objective of the project to provide Vietnamese scientists and extension specialists with the training and tools to implement and foster regionally feasible improvements to current vegetable production practices and supply chains, has largely been achieved. Continued AusAID CARD project engagement with these personnel will ensure that this continues. Key achievements of the project have included: • A series of trials (10 replicated and 4 on-farm demonstration trials) were undertaken looking at a number of production aspects (including variety, growing media, method of nutrient application and irrigation) and comparing field and greenhouse production of tomatoes and cucumbers in Hanoi, Lam Dong and Hue. This has enabled recommendations to be made regarding appropriate varieties and growing media for protected cropping systems. • Vietnamese cocopeat quality was characterised (pH, salinity, colour, water holding capacity etc.), the water usage of different greenhouse media including coir was compared and recommendations were made for the improvement of QA procedures at a Vietnamese cocopeat supplier. • Seven scientific and conference papers were published in Vietnamese and International journals • Supply chains were mapped for 1) tomatoes and tomato seedling production and 2) Metro vegetable supply chains from Dalat • Capacity building of research and extension personnel particularly in the use of hydroponic systems, greenhouse design, postharvest management and GAP systems. This included training in-country, ‘hands-on’ trial work, but also 8 personnel undertook 4 week study tours in Australia • Adaptation and application of new technology and practices by Mr Nguyen Hong Phong, vegetable farmer and seedling producer from Lam Dong province. By the end of the project this lead farmer was influencing the practices of others through the formation of a farmer group selling into Metro and the Saigon Co-opmart. • Technical expertise and assistance was also provided to a number of enterprises including a cocopeat supplier, high technology greenhouse centres in Hanoi and Haiphong and farmer groups in Hue and Can Tho. • Four workshops attracting a total of 275 participants (research and extension personnel, provincial agricultural officers, farmers and other supply chain partners) were delivered in Ho Chi Minh, Ha Noi, Can Tho and Dalat. The workshop covered protected cropping systems, supply chain management and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). 15
  18. Project Progress Against Proposed Objectives, Outputs, Activities And Inputs Project Title: Improving the safety and quality of Vietnamese vegetables through research and capacity building in quality assurance, postharvest management and high technology protected cropping systems Vietnamese Implementing Institution: Research Institute for Fruits and Vegetables, Gia Lam, Hanoi PROPOSAL INCEPTION/PROGRESS REPORT Narrative Information Required Performance Assumptions Information Required Measures 1. Facilitate the wider implementation and 1. The annual MARD 1. Anticipated difficulties in 1. Adoption has been fostered through: OBJECTIVES adoption of protected cropping systems of survey will indicate language differences are -The Australian and Vietnamese project team have continued to low to medium technology the increase in areas reduced by the ability of the be available to provide information and advice to the High Tech (greenhouses/nethouses) that require fewer producing safer project leader in both Greenhouse Centers in Hanoi and Hai Phong. This has chemical inputs through targeted research vegetables Vietnamese and English included a package of information sent by Dr Parks to these and extension activities enterprises 2. Inclusion of several -on-farm research trials have encouraged participation by 2. Examine current supply chain constraints 2. Targeted growers institutes in the project, farmers enabling farmers to see first hand the implementation of and utilise quality assurance principles to adopting new supported by MARD and the new technology or crop management practices. implement targeted system improvements systems will provide training of officers from 64 It is envisaged that some of the performance indicators are crop management provinces/cities in Vietnam, unrealistic given the short term (2 years) nature of the project and performance data and the inclusion of growers and the geographic spread of project partners. to indicate and traders ensures that marketable yields, extension will be effective. 2. Supply chains have been mapped, key constraints identified 3. Enhance Vietnamese R&D capacity in use of chemical and solutions proposed. the areas of protected cropping systems, inputs, and financial 3. The risk of adverse postharvest management and quality benefits climate (eg. Flooding) is 3. Training activities in Vietnam and Australia have enhanced assurance systems managed with several R&D capacity locations for demonstration Six scientists from RIFAV, IAS and HUAF 3. Targeted growers trials. that gain experience in Australia will aid the adopting improved setup of trial sites at their locations in postharvest Vietnam. About 300 extension, plant techniques will be protection officers, traders and key growers assessed from 64 provinces/cities will participate in workshops convened by four Australian project members. Vietnamese professional officers and farmers exposed to training will impact on vegetable horticulture in Vietnam increasing production and safety of quality 16
  19. vegetables to the benefit of all consumers. 4. Establishment a link of researchers/traders/producers/growers to increase the productivity and competitiveness of Vietnamese smallholder agriculture and related rural enterprises . 1. Report by 1. Difficulties in English for 1. A report has been prepared by the project scientists who OUTPUTS 1. Visit by 6 Vietnamese scientists to scientists, and Vietnamese training in visited Vietnam and can be obtained from Dr Newman upon Australia will expand their knowledge in seminar at their Australia: translation of request. agricultural production systems including institution, on their English into Vietnamese by greenhouse production, implementing Australian work project leader will ensure quality management systems, pest & within 4 weeks after oral and written disease management and innovations in returning to Vietnam communication is not a limitation. supply chain management. 2. Research Papers in 2. Planning already 2a. A research and demonstration project Vietnamese and completed by the project titled "Evaluation of growing media English which will be leader and support for the 2. Research demonstration trials evaluating the potential of (including cocopeat) and nutrient solutions published in Vietnam project by MARD will Vietnamese cocopeat as a media for greenhouse vegetable for greenhouse vegetables" will be and Australia on the ensure that demonstration production have been completed at all project trial sites – established at each of the RIFAV-Hanoi, suitability of sites and links with RIFAV, Hanoi; HUAF, Hue and IAS, Lam Dong Province. HUAF-Hue, IAS-HoChiMinh and NCGH- Vietnamese cocopeat traders/key growers Research papers have been published in Vietnamese and Gosford. A supply chain management as a growing established. International journals. strategy will be incorporated. This will medium, and on allow both Vietnamese and Australian recommendations for scientists to collaborate in this joint research protected cropping 2. Research on Vietnamese cocopeat characteristics and and demonstration project. Outputs of this systems in Vietnam; suitability as a growing media has been completed. On the research will include the creation of grower guidelines whole Vietnamese cocopeat compares favourably with that hydroponic systems for tropical areas, available sourced elsewhere. determination of suitable nutrient solutions 17
  20. and evaluation of Vietnam’s coir dust. A better understanding of the constraining factors for greenhouse production in the tropics will also be achieved. 2b.i) Supply chain study methodology, 2b. Supply chains have been mapped, key constraints identified training material developed to supply chain and solutions proposed. In some cases eg. Mr Phongs some of analysis. ii) Key issues and options for the improvements have been implemented. improved supply chain management of selected vegetables. iii) Map supply chains for 2 vegetable crops. iv) Develop supply chain training workshops & timetable for delivery. 3. Visit by Australian scientists to Vietnam 3. Attendance and 3. Success beyond the 3. All training programs have been completed.. (Quality Assurance officer, Postharvest knowledge gained project in implementing officer, Greenhouse specialist) for the will be assessed with quality assurance in Vietnam presentation with MARD horticultural an evaluation form will depend on the project scientists of workshops on Vegetable completed by each being linked with an ASEAN Production, Quality Assurance, Post-harvest Vietnamese officer at – Australian Development and Greenhouse management for extension, the end of training; a Cooperation Program Plant Protection officers, traders and key report on outcomes “Quality Assurance Systems growers. A meeting will also be held with of discussions will be for ASEAN Fruit and Vietnam government representatives to available within 4 Vegetables (AusAID & discuss how a quality assurance system weeks of the ASEAN Secretariat, October could be implemented in the Vietnamese scheduled meeting on 2002) vegetable industry. quality assurance. Direct training by four Institutional capacity building is enhanced Australian agricultural by this project with researchers from several scientists of research and Vietnamese institutions working together to extension workers in increase their knowledge in horticultural Vietnam will ensure that the production, postharvest and quality expertise is delivered by assurance systems. Vietnamese people in Vietnam for maximum Farmers adopting new technology will impact. increase their production quality and output and the ability to increase their income. A better standard of living for families (including women) on farms will result. 18

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