“Seeing is believing”
Testimonies from the Learning Route in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta
Learning Route on Small Irrigation System, Common Interest Groups and Market Linkages in Ben Tre and Tra Vinh provinces, Vietnam, 5 July, 2015
In July 2015, ROUTASIA’s Learning Route in the Mekong Delta presented a unique opportunity for the 35-odd Cambodian farmers and KM-experts who journeyed to Vietnam’s southern provinces, Ben Tre and Tra Vinh, the “rice bowl” of the country. From many aspects this was the first exchange of this type between Cambodia and its close neighbour Vietnam.
Similarities in geography, agricultural crops and culture between the two countries, – emphasized by the visit to the ethnic Khmer community of Cau Ke in Tra Vinh – inspired learning from the good practices at work. Successful cooperatives in Ben Tre and Tra Vinh provinces were visited to gain first-hand experiences in cooperative-management, added value and market linkages. Workshops at the Rambutan Cooperative in Thanh Chau, the Duc Tri Safe Vegetable farm in Ben Tre and the Dan Tien Rice Cooperative in Tra Vinh made sure that these good practices are shared with all the right people.
The initiative, carried out by PADEE, IFAD, Procasur and their partners in Vietnam resulted in 5 new innovation plans based on peer-to-peer exchange.
As Cambodian participants agreed, Vietnam is more advanced in key areas of sustainable agriculture where Cambodia needs direct improvement. More developed water management and irrigation system, climate change resilience, value chain development, advanced crop diversification, cooperative models and better market access make Vietnam a good host for Learning Routes, as many participants agreed.
Vietnam will be the host of three subsequent Learning Routes within ROUTASIA’s programme and recommendations from all parties encourage a follow-up Learning Route in Cambodia to further knowledge sharing.
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