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Improving smallholder incomes in the north-western highlands of Vietnam by increasing access and competitiveness in regional temperate and subtropical fruit markets

This project aims to improve the income and livelihoods of ethnic minority households in north-western Vietnam. It will increase their access to and competitiveness in Asian temperate fruit markets through more strategic market-driven industry planning and development.
The Northwest is the poorest region in Vietnam; L?i Chau, S?n La and L?o Cai provinces have the first, third and fourth highest poverty rates in the country. The Vietnamese Government invested considerable effort and resources, especially during the 1990s, in developing temperate fruit production in the north-western highlands. Local People's Committees supported Government investment in the new plantings, significantly expanding production areas of Tam Hoa plum, which peaked in the early 2000s. These contracted when prices fell after the supply of Tam Hoa plum increased, and competing fruits from Vietnam and other countries became available in urban markets.
This project will evaluate consumer and market dynamics; support government-led planning, co-ordination and development; overcome barriers to adoption of improved varieties and cultivation techniques; and develop competitive consumer-driven value chain and marketing models for engagement with more profitable markets.
This project has been designed in close co-operation with the ACIAR project AGB/2012/059 'Towards more profitable and sustainable vegetable farming systems in north-western Vietnam', and will address recommendations from the review of ACIAR projects AGB/2002/086 -Improving postharvest quality of temperate fruits in Vietnam and Australia.