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Innovations for smallholder livestock farming in the mountains of northern Vietnam

Vietnam, a dynamic country, has been experiencing strong economic growth since the 1990s, and the country’s poverty rate has considerably fallen. That said, the reduction in the poverty rate is starting to fall off. According to official statistics from the Vietnamese government, the poverty rate was still 12% in January 2012, with 95% of impoverished families living in mountain regions. Vietnam also has a new challenge to face: with about 2,140 miles of coastline, the country is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Since 2000, AVSF has been working with small-scale livestock farmers in poor regions of Vietnam in fields such as animal health and production. AVSF advises and assists national and regional authorities in carrying out innovative activities in support of smallholder crop and livestock farming. These activities are carried out in the mountainous regions of the north, where this sector represents an opportunity (that is currently underexploited) for local economic development. After 12 years of working in Vietnam, AVSF has acquired a solid level of experience in small-scale animal production: improving the productivity of pig and poultry farming, creating women’s and men’s interest groups for greater dissemination of proposed innovations. By the end of June 2012, there were more than 7,000 households that were direct beneficiaries in 54 communes, 97% of which were run by women from ethnic minorities. Finally, the development of supply chains and the organization of the sale of animal products that AVSF has been working on since 2011 rounds out the list of activities that AVSF is involved in in support of small-scale livestock farming.

Officially recognized veterinarian work that is fundamental for public health

AVSF has also developed an officially recognized activity, particularly vis-à-vis the national veterinarian services, for strengthening organic production and animal health services, especially local veterinary networks. More than 10,000 para-veterinarians and 600 public veterinarians were trained in 40 provinces, and a model for controlled-risk backyard chicken production was tested and approved.

AVSF’s work in fighting avian flu also helps to protect public health. Since 2004, AVSF has worked with international organizations (FAO) and national authorities and has allocated a large portion of its human and financial resources to the prevention and monitoring of avian flu. A training guide for combatting avian flu was co-produced with the FAO and was widely distributed.

Since 2012, AVSF has been solicited to work with health authorities in Ho Chi Minh City to think of ways to improve the models of peri-urban smallholder production that guarantee public health and respect the environment.

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