The project aims to contribute to reducing poverty and inequality in rural areas of Vietnam through inclusive and sustainable value chain development.
It will support small-scale producers and micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) processors of clam value chain in the Mekong Delta provinces of Ben Tre, Tra Vinh and Tien Giang, and bamboo chain in central Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces to increase income from sustainable production and business practices from 2018 – 2022.
It looks to provide technical support for leading clam and bamboo producers to have sustainably standardized production which is vital for them to get access to foreign markets like the EU.
The project is expected to benefit about 150 cooperatives with 35,000 members and 60 MSME processors in these five provinces.
Public-private alliances, which comprise of local governments, public service providers, financial institutions, industry leaders and other stakeholders, will be set up at the five provinces to promote improved policy environment for the value chains of clam and bamboo.
They are tasked to foster the enforcement of industry development policies and the enhancement of trade promotion activities and access to markets and loans. They are also responsible for monitoring and taking actions to inclusively and sustainably develop the value chains.
On May 25, the project’s “bamboo” component was launched at a workshop held by the European Union (EU), Oxfam in Vietnam, Non-Timber Forest Products Research Centre (NTFPRC), the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Nghe An.
Markets like the EU, Japan and the US have strict regulations on imports of rattan and bamboo-made products, including those regarding environmental protection, said Pham Van Chat from the VCCI, adding that these countries set tight control on the products’ source of origin and possible pest infestation.
To increase added values and competitiveness of bamboo products, Vietnamese producers must strictly comply with standards towards sustainability in the value chain of these products, said NTFPRC Director Phan Van Thang.
In this way, more opportunities will be opened for Vietnamese farmers and processors in foreign markets, especially one with strict rules and regulations. They will not only earn higher incomes but also help develop more sustainable material areas, he noted.
Vietnam exported about US$250 million worth of bamboo-made products annually while the annual export turnover of clam was estimated at US$200 million.