Coffee National Sustainability Curriculum approved for the World Bank’s Vietnam Agriculture Project

Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Dr. Le Quoc Doanh, approved National Sustainability Curriculum (NSC) as official extension documents for all farmer trainings…

The Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in Vietnam, Dr. Le Quoc Doanh, has approved the utilization of the National Sustainability Curriculum (NSC) as the official extension documents for all trainings of farmers within the World Bank’s Vietnam Sustainable Agriculture Transformation (VnSAT) Project. The project promotes agricultural restructuring, through increasing the sector’s institutional capacity, renewing sustainable cultivation methods for coffee crops in the Central Highlands. About 63,000 households in the Central Highlands on 69,000 hectares of coffee, are projected to raise total profits by an estimated 48-50 million USD a year through this project.

“The use of this unified training material is a real win for the Vietnamese coffee sector. In the past, Vietnamese coffee farmers have been the target of multiple often conflicting training programs, by both the public and private sector. Training has focused on increasing productivity or on promotion of specific products, arguably giving only limited attention to sustainability issues such as water saving, farmer aggregation and forest conservation.” remarked Ted van der Put, chairman of the board of the Global Coffee Platform. The materials were also often fragmented and sometimes contradicting in the message they sent to farmers, highlighting the need for a harmonized set of training materials co-owned and used by both the private and public sector.

The NSC that will be used in the VnSAT is a valuable reference document and has brought all existing training materials together to provide a focus on sustainability issues, incorporating the best practices used at the field level and the practical experience of the initiatives such as the coffee PPP Taskforce. The NSC materials are now under the ownership of the Vietnam Coffee Coordinating Board (VCCB), chaired by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Development, to help foster adoption of the material by the sector’s sustainability initiatives. The materials will eventually be rolled out by both public and private extension services to train farmers to address key sustainability issues.

The VnSAT project, part of the World Bank’s country partnership strategy, is implemented in five Central Highlands provinces and separately eight Mekong Delta localities (for rice production) from 2015 to 2020 with a total capital of over 300 million USD, of which 230 million USD comes from the bank’s preferential loans.