The MoU was signed between the Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture in Vietnam, the National Agriculture Extension, and CARE, paving the way forward for the rollout of the Farming for Change – She Feeds the World project in Vietnam (SFtW Vietnam).
The project aims to ensure small-scale farmers in Vietnam's Central Highlands, particularly women and ethnic minorities, have more secure and resilient livelihoods for food, nutrition, and water security.
The Central Highlands in Vietnam are a major agricultural hub, producing key food crops. However, the agricultural system in the region faces serious environmental, economic, and societal issues, including unsustainable agricultural practices and weak market linkage.
The overuse of pesticides, fertilisers, and water resources are lowering the productivity of the land which is further exacerbated when farmers sell their products to local collectors who have limited bargaining power, earning them lower incomes. This particularly impacts women and people from ethnic minorities.
|Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, director general of the International Cooperation Department, director of PSAV Secretariat – MARD; Monica Bauer, vice president Corporate Affairs – PepsiCo Inc; and Gloria D. Steele, chief operating officer – CARE are signing the MoU|
The SFtW Vietnam seeks to address these issues by enhancing farmers’ capacity to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices, improving agricultural yields and productivity, and increasing women farmers’ access to and control over productive resources.
This, in turn, will contribute to the transformation of discriminatory social and gender norms and facilitate greater access to markets.
SFtW Vietnam is an extension of PepsiCo-CARE's global "She Feeds the World" programme, which has been rolled out in multiple countries.
The programme is part of a broader effort by CARE and company to help build more sustainable food systems, by empowering women in its agricultural supply chain, leveraging PepsiCo's Sustainable Farming Programme which is currently active in 38 countries.
|The SFtW Vietnam project aims to promote more equitable access to knowledge, resources, and inclusive markets for vulnerable farmers on the social dimension.|
According to Sudipto Mozumdar, general manager for the Indochina Foods Business Unit PepsiCo Services Asia Ltd, "She Feeds the World aligns with PepsiCo's Positive Agriculture strategy in Vietnam by working to spread regenerative practices to restore the Earth across land equal to the company's entire agricultural footprint, to sustainably source key crops and ingredients, and to improve the livelihoods of people in our agricultural supply chain" .
"We believe that by aiming to create changes across the three dimensions: economic, social, and environmental, She Feeds the World will build capacity for farmers to improve their cultivation practices, increase yield, and diversify livelihood options to generate more sustainable income and save for the future," said Mozumdar.
The SFtW Vietnam project aims to promote more equitable access to knowledge, resources, and inclusive markets for vulnerable farmers on the social dimension.
The project is to be implemented in three Central Highlands provinces Lam Dong, Gia Lai, and Dak Lak and is expected to positively impact nearly 160,000 people (60 per cent women) .
|PepsiCo has been investing in potato farming since 2008 in the highlands of Vietnam|
Le Kim Dung, country director of CARE International in Vietnam, said: "The SFtW Vietnam project will contribute to advancing gender equality in the agriculture sector, particularly in the second phase of the National Target Programme on New Rural Development. It demonstrates CARE and PepsiCo’s commitment to the public-private Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture in Vietnam."
"In Tay Nguyen, SFtW Vietnam is strategically relevant to the government’s approved Plan on Restructuring the Agriculture Sector (2021-2025) which focuses on developing sustainable agriculture as well as enhancing the quality, added value, and competitiveness of local agricultural products," Dung noted.
Gloria Steele, chief operating officer of CARE USA added, "It is significant that CARE's global She Feeds the World partnership with PepsiCo is expanding in Vietnam and we appreciate MARD's involvement with the programme. Engaging government partners is key to sustainability and scale."
By Ha Thuy
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