Training Courses in Vietnam Use Contests, Storytelling to Reach Out to Farmers

Vegetable production is very important to Vietnam’s economy, with many farmers seeking access to export markets as a means of improving their livelihoods. However, meeting quality requirements for export produce can be a challenge for farmers.

As a response to this issue, the Plant Protection Department (PPD) of Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in collaboration with CropLife Asia, introduced a joint campaign in 2003.

Initially, one hundred and thirty trainers were trained over a six-day course in Ha Tay and Ho Chi Minh City. Farmer training courses then took place at 33 farmer field schools in four target provinces. The project also included innovative methods, such as farmer contests and community drama to improve the outreach to more stakeholders and make the programme more attractive and interesting to participants. The community dramas were broadcast on Vietnam Television and reached millions of viewers.

Three broadcasts were made as a result and they attracted additional attention through a national competition for script writers. The winning screenplays were broadcast on network television. Another outcome of the project was the creation of a forum between farmers and staff from the Ministry, which has helped communications and kept farmers updated on new regulations.