By Thuy Thu DOAN – CISDOMA
On October 6th, 2023, the Agroecology Learning Alliance in Southeast Asia (ALiSEA) convened a vibrant online workshop titled “Initiatives to Accelerate Agroecology Transition in the Northern Mountainous Areas of Vietnam.” This event brought together 55 passionate individuals from academia, NGOs, government agencies, and businesses, united by a common goal: fostering a sustainable agricultural future for Vietnam’s mountainous regions.
Dr. Dao The Anh, in his opening remarks, emphasized the critical role of ALiSEA in facilitating knowledge exchange and collaboration. He highlighted the growing significance of agroecology within Vietnam’s rural development strategy, aiming for a holistic transformation of agriculture, the food system, and the wider economy. He stressed the need for technical advancements and underscored the wealth of agroecological initiatives within ALiSEA, waiting to be shared and scaled.
The workshop’s core focus was exploring diverse initiatives driving agroecology transition in these mountainous areas. Pre-selected speakers, representing various stakeholder groups, showcased their impactful endeavors.
- MSc. Dinh Trung Kien from CISDOMA shared how a landscape approach fosters agroecology in Hoa Binh province, empowering ethnic minority farmers to build resilient livelihoods.
- Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Dinh from Vietnam National University of Agriculture presented a study on a value chain approach for safe vegetable production, highlighting its potential for wider adoption.
- MSc. Le Thi Hang from Vietnam Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) presented their initiative, which empowers women entrepreneurs and promotes their engagement in the global coffee supply chain.
These presentations sparked lively discussions, with participants actively sharing additional examples of successful ecological practices. From the no-pesticide cultivation model in Tan Lac to the farmer’s cooperative in Son La, the collective knowledge flowed freely.
Concerns regarding organic inputs, certification, and farmer dependency on external inputs fueled the dialogue. Participants delved deep into technical details, eager to learn from each other’s experiences and challenges. The thirst for knowledge extended beyond technical aspects, with participants seeking insights into the broader societal and organizational factors influencing agroecology adoption.
MSc. Truong Quoc Can, Director of CISDOMA, closed the workshop by commending the presenters and emphasizing the complementary nature of the showcased initiatives. He noted their applicability beyond the mountainous areas, highlighting the potential for replication in other contexts. He also stressed the importance of considering the 13 ecological principles as a guiding framework for future initiatives and encouraged continued collaboration within ALiSEA to build a shared knowledge base.
This webinar, part of a series hosted by ALiSEA, serves as a testament to the collective power of knowledge sharing. By fostering dialogue and collaboration among diverse stakeholders, ALiSEA is paving the way for a more sustainable and equitable agricultural future in Vietnam’s northern mountains, and beyond. As participants expressed their hope for future gatherings, one thing was clear: the journey towards agroecology has gained momentum, fueled by the collective spirit and shared knowledge within the ALiSEA network.
Video recording available here: