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Doing business effectively with ethnic minority women in Lao Cai

August 24, 2019 | 20:46

This project will provide ethnic minority women with opportunities to increase their contribution to, and ownership of, family income through income generated from the production of black pigs.

Doing business effectively with ethnic minority women in Lao Cai

At the event in Lung Khau Nhin commune, Muong Khuong district, Lao Cai province. Photo: Oxfam

On August 22, Lao Cai Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) và Oxfam in Vietnam organized the Kick-off Ceremony of the project “Doing business effectively with ethnic minority women - Making fortune from indigenous pigs in Lao Cai”.

The pork industry in Vietnam creates around four million full-time jobs each year. Most pig farms are relatively small, with more than 85 percent of 3.5 million households breeding just one to nine pigs per batch. In these small-scale producer families it is often women who take care of the pigs.

Small scale pig farmers often lack access to capital, technical knowledge, modern technology, and market information. As a result, there are losses along the value chain, and small-scale producers get just a small share of the final price paid by end consumers. In addition, government policies on the pork industry tend to favour large-scale production. Small-scale producers may benefit from new technology in slaughtering processes, veterinary services and farming techniques, but there is also a risk that the most vulnerable producers will be increasingly marginalised by competition from larger pig farms.

An upgraded pork value chain can also provide better livelihood opportunities for small-scale farmers, women in particular, and contribute to reducing poverty in poor households.

Oxfam and the Lao Cai provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development are piloting a model to demonstrate how small-scale farmers, in particular poor women and ethnic minorities, can benefit from involvement in the pork value chain.

This project is a part of the project “Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism” (GREAT) funded by the Australian government and implemented by DARD and Oxfam in Vietnam in 7 communes and districts of Lao Cai and Son La provinces from June 2019 to September 2021.

The main goal of this project is to support ethnic minority women in Lao Cai province to be entitled to economic empowerment through active participation and decent income from the sustainable development of the indigenous pig value chain. The project is expected to increase the income of 780 households in the area, including 930 ethnic minority women. They also can become more actively involved in household decisions, local community affairs and decision-making processes.

Oxfam has been working in Lao Cai for more than 15 years on poverty reduction, women’s empowerment, and agricultural development, and has strong partnerships with local government agencies./.