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.
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.