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Australian initiative supports cinnamon farmers in Lao Cai
The Saigon Times Daily
Thursday,  Mar 19, 2020,15:37 (GMT+7)

Australian initiative supports cinnamon farmers in Lao Cai

The Saigon Times Daily

Many Dao women in Lao Cai Province make a living from cinnamon - PHOTO: COURTESY OF AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY IN VIETNAM

HCMC - The Australian Government-funded Aus4Equality project is working with a range of partners to connect cinnamon farmers in Lao Cai Province to the markets and support them to produce quality cinnamon.

Through the Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) program, Aus4Equality has helped local farmers meet export demands in terms of standards and quality, in turn attracting higher prices and generating greater incomes.

Cinnamon is a versatile spice that brings economic benefit to many ethnic minority areas in Vietnam.

The country ranks third worldwide in cinnamon production after Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Vietnamese cinnamon is exported to India, the Middle East, Japan, South Korea, the U.S. and the EU, according to the Australian Embassy in Vietnam.

The northern province of Lao Cai is the second largest cinnamon growing region in the country with a total cinnamon cultivation area of 27,000 hectares in 2017. Cinnamon production offers ethnic communities, particularly women, in the province with positive income opportunities.

Despite a long history of cinnamon production in Vietnam, the market has not reached its full potential. Key challenges include meeting export standards and developing stronger links between companies and farmers.

GREAT is supporting a number of cinnamon initiatives including a project by Son Ha Spice & Flavorings Company. The project supports the expansion of organic cinnamon production through connecting farmers to Son Ha’s new processing facilities in Lao Cai and training to increase productivity and meet organic standards.

The project enables more remote communities to participate in the company’s value chain and has a target to increase income for more than 1,000 women, over 90% of whom are from the Dao ethnic minority community.

The project is expected to help develop Lao Cai into a production hub for organic cinnamon with the potential to attract additional investment from the private sector.

GREAT is also supporting a project by Vinasamex JSC and SNV organization in collaboration with the Lao Cai Agricultural Extension Service Center that promotes cinnamon production and brings benefit to ethnic minority women in Van Ban and neighboring districts.

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