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A strategic approach to pro-poor consumer research in the Mekong region - extended analyses

This Small Research Activity (SRA) aims to understand changing consumption patterns in urban Vietnam.
This SRA is a second phase of consumer research following on from market and consumer research in AGB/2012/057. The first phase studied the implications of changing fruit and vegetable market dynamics in the Mekong Region for smallholder farmers and developing pro-poor agribusinesses in the region. Case studies increased understanding of supply-demand patterns, trade flows and changing consumer preferences for fruits and vegetables in north-west Vietnam and south-west China.
Increased production and improved marketing of vegetables, temperate fruits, tropical fruits and beef in the region can increase household incomes for thousands of poor smallholder farmers. While domestic and regional demand appears to be rapidly growing, farmers lack information about local and regional market opportunities and requirements, and suffer from sub-optimal on-farm and post-harvest management, low farm productivity and poor product quality, consistency, and safety, poor economies of scale, weak links to markets, seasonal price volatility, and increasing competition from regional imports.
The study will obtain information about household consumption patterns, expenditures on food products types, and other data that may offer profitable and sustainable opportunities for smallholders producing beef, fruits and vegetables.
This project will complement the market analysis and value chain research activities proposed in AGB/2012/059, AGB2012/060, AGB2012/061 and AGB-2012-048. It will also provide essential market and consumer information about southern Chinese fruit, vegetable and meat markets. It could benefit other ACIAR projects in the MKR, and other investments by international agricultural aid agencies which develop pro-poor agribusinesses and need insight into regional fruit and vegetable markets and consumers.