On 11th May 2016, SPERI (Social Policy Ecology Research Institute) TOA partners hosted the public forum: NATURAL OR ORGANIC: WHAT ARE THE CHANCES FOR OUR FARMERS? CURRENT DEBATE IN VIETNAM AND LESSONS FROM THE REGION in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The forum started by Prof. Le Van Khoa, SPERI representative to remark the significant of organic agriculture for farmers, especially, Vietnamese farmers
After that, the first panel: Natural or organic: diversifying views, clarifying concepts, experience and practices started by sharing about concept and terms of natural and organic from various sources. Hans van Willenswaard, TOA advisor explained the terms according to IFOAM idea and Duong Quang Chau from SPERI shared his experiences from ecological farming and natural products.In this panel, together with Mrs. Ly May Chan – Red Dzao ethnic minority, Mr. Tran Trong Binh – agro-ecological farm in Ha Tinh and Mr. Do Hoang – VietHerb exchanged their views and experiences in natural and organic products.
The second panel: Dialogue among Vietnamese actors: natural products or organic products: currency of agricultural production in Vietnam: rural, urban, and upland areas. What are the opportunities, challenges? (Views from association, small producers, farm cooperatives, entrepreneurs and shops) set for Vietnamese stakeholders to discuss the situation of natural and organic products in rural area and upland area.
The third panel: Sharing experiences: lesson learnt from international organizations under Towards Organic Asia network: organic or natural farming & production – what are the potential, markets, certification and future opportunity? On this panel, our TOA partners; Mr. Gum Sha Aung from Metta Foundation, Myanmar, Dr.Sonam Tashi, College of Natural Resources, Bhutan, Mr. Sam Vitou from CEDAC, Cambodia and Nakorn Limpacuptathavon shared their experiences together with Mr. Leng Van Suong from Simacai district in Lao and Mr. Pham Minh Đuc from EcoLink about opportunities of organic markets
In the afternoon, the participants joined farm visiting at the suburb area of Hanoi to see how farmers work together both in the pattern of cooperatives and inter-group.