Train the Trainers program as part of the Orange Knowledge Program Enhancing performance of the horticultural sector in North and Central Vietnam

As part of the Orange Knowledge Program Enhancing performance of the horticultural sector in North and Central Vietnam, October 7th 2019 the first of seven Training of Trainers program (ToT) started in Hanoi. Twenty seven lecturers, researchers and project managers from VNUA, Lao Cai and Ha Tây Agriculture Vocational Training Centers, FAVRI and DARD Huế city participated in the training.

Vietnam National Agricultural University (VNUA) hosted the participants as well as trainer and are also a partner in this NUFFIC supported program. The week was opened by Dr. Long Nguyen Viet, ICO Deputy Director from VNUA, Mr Dick Pouwels, chairman of HAS University of Applied Science and chairman of the Dutch Borderless Network and Mrs Nguyen Huong Lan, Senior Trade Advisor of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This first week of the program focused on Value Chain Development and Post Harvest Management in the horticulture business. Fruit and vegetables often find their way to the market with low value at least for farmers. The central question is how do these value chains function and how can we organize them in such a way that we add more value for all businesses in the chain. Furthermore Vietnam experiences 10-30% post harvest losses in the chain, something that needs to be addressed.

Mr. Marc de Ruiter, (Lentiz Education Group), Mr. Toon Keijsers (HAS University) and Mrs. Ha Thi  Lan Anh (Fresh Studio/Fresh Academy) were the trainers during this week’s program.

Besides theory classes about Value Chain functions and Post Harvest management, the participants worked in groups on business cases. The groups went out in four teams to visit fresh vegetable markets and supermarkets to see how the supply chains function, where value was added, and analysing post harvest management and product quality issues. The reflections on these visits where presented to the total group in order to solidify the knowledge gain and research done.

Dr.Hoa  Nguyen, Lecturer in the Department of Agronomy of VNUA,  shared her reflection after the training : “This course is an eye-opening course for me. I was kind of lost trying to find what to do to link education to market demand but now I  know where to start. The trainers have given me a big push, a huge motivation for me to keep doing my job, trying to reinnovate our program to meet with the market demand. In the coming courses, I hope I will be able to learn how to transfer my energy and knowledge to my students more effectively and I will be able to see more of the Vietnam potentials in agriculture in comparison to other countries.” Mr. Dick Pouwels also gave a introduction on the way HAS University diversified there study programs to be able to keep supporting the dynamics in the Agri-Food (labour) market. He also underlined the need to co-design education with businesses and research: student learn better when they work to real life cases, teachers keep up to date their knowledge on what happens in business and business is supported in their innovation agenda.

The next ToT will take place in December of 2019 in which didactic methods will be more central in the training sessions as well as improving the curricula of some of the programs taught at the University. 

The program is executed in a partnership of the Borderless Network partners Wageningen University, HAS University of Applied sciences, Lentiz Education Group, together with Agriterra, Fresh Studio/Fresh Academy and Vietnam National Agricultural University. The program is part of the Orange Knowledge Program, which is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic.

Successful launch of the Fresh Academy in Vietnam

In the presence of Vietnamese and Dutch representatives of the public and private agribusiness sectors, Fresh Studio launched the Fresh Academy on Thursday October 5 in Ha Noi.

Dutch and Vietnamese knowledge institutions, supported by the industry, have been working together since 2015 on the design and establishment of the Fresh Academy. This includes the development of training programs, training materials, implementing and testing them by training the trainers. All this hard work has resulted in the start of actual operations of the Fresh Academy. The first commercial training courses in practical horticulture will be available from early 2018 onwards in Vietnam.

The agricultural sector in Vietnam, including horticulture, develops strongly. Still one of the shortcomings in the sector development is the lack of well qualified professionals who can manage farms, individual greenhouses and fields and provide technical support to growers. Not only horticulture production companies are facing problems in finding well qualified staff, but also companies providing inputs to the sector and successful farmers who are expanding their farms and need to recruit workers and supervisors to manage their growth. Although training for farmers and other participants in the value chain are occasionally offered under government schemes and donor programs, the Fresh Academy is the first training & knowledge center in Vietnam offering training courses continuously on a commercial basis within the agricultural sector. These courses aim to develop professional farm managers, supervisors, senior workers and local farmers. The practical approach used in these courses fill an important gap, which is indispensable to come to a sustainable and technically advanced agricultural sector in Vietnam.

For the horticulture training courses, the Fresh Academy brings together the best of two worlds: practical training courses and trainers from the best applied universities and horticulture schools in the Netherlands and Vietnam, and all experience and local industry insights from Fresh Studio who has been developing successful horticulture value chains in Vietnam for over 10 years.

Fresh Studio, the Dutch HAS University of Applied Sciences, Wageningen University & Research, Lentiz Course & Consult, Demokwekerij Westland, Kenlog b.v. and 4 Vietnamese universities (Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Nong Lam University, Da Lat University and Dong Thap University) have worked together since 2015 in a project, with co-funding of the Netherlands government, to lay the foundations for the Fresh Academy. From now onwards, the knowledge and training center will operate as a business unit of Fresh Studio. In order to support the development of training courses and to ensure solid embedding in the Vietnamese agriculture industry, the Fresh Academy works with strategic educational partners in Vietnam: Vietnam National University of Agriculture in Ha Noi and Nong Lam University in Ho Chi Minh City. Furthermore, the Fresh Academy has a strategic partnership with the Lentiz Education Group in the Netherlands for developing and conducting advanced horticulture training courses.

Whereas the first phase of the Fresh Academy will focus on courses in horticulture (vegetables and flowers), on the long term the training portfolio will cover other agricultural sectors such as fruits, arable crops (e.g. potato and corn), aquaculture, and animal husbandry. For each agriculture subsector, the Fresh Academy will form partnerships with the best applied universities and training institutes in the world to develop training courses which are relevant and value added to local conditions. The Fresh Academy also envisages to play a regional role in Southeast Asia, in which participants from neighboring countries can join the training courses and at a later stage potentially training courses in countries like Myanmar and Indonesia can be setup.

Register for courses here

Train-the-Trainer program in Dalat supports trainees in practical knowledge and training skills

Dutch and Vietnamese research institutions and companies joined forces to establish Fresh Academy, a practical knowledge and training center for the horticultural sector in Dalat in Vietnam.

Last week, 28 trainees from across Vietnam received training in Dalat, Vietnams’ horticulture region. The training focussed on practical knowledge and training skills in the area of indoor growing. This so-called Train-the-Trainer (TtT) program will have a timeline of 1.5 year.

The agriculture sector in Vietnam including the horticulture shows a strong development and offers opportunities for Dutch businesses. One of the shortcomings in the sector development is the limited practical and applied knowledge. The Fresh Academy project, with a duration of 2 years, will contribute to the knowledge provisioning by building a foundation for a horticulture training centre for training and demonstration.

The Train-the-Trainer program is an essential element of the project. The program educates trainers who then instruct and familiarize horticulture entrepreneurs, company employees and trainees about sustainable and technical advanced horticulture. The Fresh Academy project elaborates on horticultural projects and experiences of Fresh Studio in Vietnam gained in the past 10 years.

A unique consortium consisting of HAS University of Applied Sciences (project leader) and Wageningen UR/PPO, Lentiz Course& Consult, Demokwekerij Westland, Kenlog b.v. and Fresh Studio has joined forces to establish the Fresh Academy. In addition, 4 Vietnamese (agriculture) universities are involved in the development of the Fresh Academy.

Besides Dalat, the Fresh Academy will be operating in the North (production area of Hanoi) and the South (close of HCMC) of Vietnam. Currently, the project partners Demokwekerij Westland and Kenlog b.v. collaborate intensively with local horticulture sector specialised in flowering plants in the Mekong province Dong Thap.

Read the article in Dutch here

Source: TuinbouwCommunicatie