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Towards more profitable and sustainable vegetable farming systems in north western Vietnam


The vegetable industry in north western Vietnam faces a number of challenges: rapidly transforming markets; competition from peri-urban and regional producers; poor infrastructure and logistics; and environmental sustainability (nutrient depleted soils, erosion, water availability and quality). Smallholder farmers in this region also tend to have limited engagement with markets outside their local district.

Mother and Child in Lao Cai

Enhancing the role that vegetables play in rice-based farming systems, producing vegetables that meet consumer demands for safe, high quality and nutrient-rich food and engaging with high-value local, provincial, urban and export markets could provide opportunities for smallholders to improve net household income. This is particularly important as north western Vietnam encompasses some of the poorest provinces in Vietnam. For example, 40% of the population in Lao Cai Province lives below the poverty line.

Project objectives

The overall objective of this project is to enhance the profitability and sustainability of smallholder vegetable farmers in north western Vietnam through improved market engagement and integrated resource and farm management practices. The project is particularly focused on women and ethnic minorities engaged in fresh vegetable value chains in Sa Pa and Bac Ha.

  1. Identify market opportunities and consumer preferences for indigenous and conventional vegetables in local, provincial, urban and export markets
  2. Develop and promote competitive and efficient marketing models that deliver high quality safe vegetables, meet consumer demand and benefit smallholders (particularly women and ethnic minorities)
  3. Develop and demonstrate whole-farm management practices that improve sustainability, productivity and household livelihoods in (i) rice-vegetable and (ii) vegetable-only systems
  4. Develop sustainable models for up-scaling extension programs (particularly targeting women smallholders) and building capacity in research, development and extension
Beans in Lao Cai

Project materials


ACIAR Partners Magazine articles:


Posters with key outcomes to-date:

Project partners

Collaborating organisations:

  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • NSW Department of Primary Industries, Australia
  • Vietnam Women's Union, Vietnam
  • Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam
  • Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Vietnam
  • Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute, Vietnam
  • Soil and Fertiliser Research Institute, Vietnam
  • National Institute of Medicinal Materials, Vietnam
  • Plant Protection sub-Department Lao Cai, Vietnam
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia


Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR Project AGB/2012/059), March 2014 to March 2018

Cabbages in Lao Cai


GFAR researchers involved in this project:

Dr Dale Yi

Miss Nikki Dumbrell

Prof Wendy Umberger

Mr Christian Genova II

Dr Di Zeng

Ms Jesmin Ara Rupa

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