The mountainous regions of northern Vietnam contain a number of 'pockets of poverty' in areas that are difficult to access and inhabited mainly by ethnic minorities. Many rural families there live below the national poverty line.
Smallholders in these regions raise crops and livestock for their subsistence, producing rice, manioc, vegetables, tea, poultry and pigs, among other things. Raising small animals such as chickens and pigs is particularly important because they're a good source of protein, a financial reserve that's easy to mobilize and a way to diversify income in the event of a poor harvest. With some technical support, such an activity could easily become more profitable without requiring too big an investment. Unfortunately there are many factors limiting such a development, one of the most important being animal disease. Smallholders are isolated, they lack important technical skills and there aren't enough support services for livestock farmers in the area.
That's why AVSF has been working for years on a project in these areas to promote smallholder livestock farming. The project seeks to improve animal-health services, provide training for smallholders on techniques for raising chickens and pigs (feeding, shelter, reproduction, etc.) and sustainably strengthen both public and private services supporting animal production. Lastly, in an effort to help smallholders generate more income, the project in its current phase helps livestock farmers find and set up profitable markets and obtain health certification for their products (creation of 'disease-free zone' certification).
The project is funded by the General Council of the Val-de-Marne department and by the People's Committee of the province of Yên Bái. It aims to help 150 animal-health professionals improve their skills and 500 livestock-farming families increase their income.
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