Writer: ASEAN Sustainable AgriFood Systems Vietnam team
Training of trainers on integrated crop management for sustainable pepper production in Viet Nam
Forty participants including technical staffs of Sub-Plant Protection Department, farmer leaders and traders from Ba Ria – Vung Tau (BRVT) province in Viet Nam recently attended a five-day Training of Trainers (ToT) on “Application of Integrated Crop Management (ICM) on Sustainable Black Pepper production” at the Plant Protection Station of Xuyen Moc district.
In the context of the Sustainable Pepper Initiative Viet Nam, a development partnership of GIZ with Keith Spicer & The Harris Freeman Group, the training between 5-9 December 2016 was jointly organized by the ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS) Viet Nam team, VinaHarris Spice Import Export Co. Ltd. and the BRVT Sub-Plant Protection Department (PPD).
The participants were expected to become the intermediaries for the training of farmer groups, and implementing the project activities in the next two and half years.
“Thanks to GIZ and Harris Freeman for organizing the training,” said Mrs. Tran Thi Hien, Director of Ba Ria Vung Tau Sub PPD. “Sub PPD Vung Tau strongly supports such training like this one so that more farmers will get benefit in improving their knowledge on pepper production.”
During the five days, topics of ICM strategies and approaches on sustainable black pepper production designed by the project experts were introduced. In the beginning, trainees were organized in groups of five, and were introduced to the Sustainable Pepper Initiative Viet Nam project and their responsibilities and roles, and a pre-test in order to evaluate their knowledge. The participants were then introduced to the pepper production in Viet Nam, followed by the ICM principles and its major components.
The 40 trainees learnt about the five main strategies of ICM on sustainable pepper production, for example, site selection, orchard preparation and seedlings, disease and pest management and weed and soil nutrient management. Two advanced topics on the application of Biological Control Agents (BCA) for pepper production and responsible use of agro-chemicals completed the agenda.
“The training course was very interesting and helpful to me. I will pass knowledge gained from the training to other pepper farmers in my village’” said Mr. Tran Buu, a farmer leader.
The trainees also visited pepper orchards for observing sustainable farmers’ practices, discussed their observations in groups and presented them to the other participants. Based on the group presentations, the participants were guided on how to prepare good materials for farmer training and how to use them in their daily activities. On the last day, the trainees took another test to see how they gained knowledge from the ToT, and the participants also evaluated how the training was organized. All trainees showed that their knowledge was improved, and how they would apply it at their future activities. During the ToT the participants interacted very well with each other, showed interest in the different topics and considered the training course as very useful and well organized.
During the period of ToT, Mr. Olaf Malchow, Deputy Head of Mission of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ho Chi Minh City, and Mr. Ambros Dotzer, Regional Coordinator of the ASEAN SAS project visited the installations of Vinaharris and a pepper farm and also paid a visit to the training class. Together with the trainees, the two visitors were informed about the collection of pepper from the farmers, the quality assessment and payment procedures and the further processing and quality requirements for export. The visitors addressed to the trainees by emphasizing the important roles of the different stakeholders of the project, for instance, farmers, scientists, collectors (traders), processors and exporters and local governments for achieving the required production of clean and pesticide free pepper in the are