VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

Flights to Japan delayed due to Typhoon

Vietnam Airlines has announced to delay eight flights between Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang and two airports of Nagoya, Narita in Tokyo on Tuesday due to Typhoon Neoguri.

Vietnam Airlines delays eight flights between Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang and two airports of Nagoya, Narita in Tokyo on October 22 due to Typhoon Neoguri.

The flights including VN340, VN341, VN346, VN347, VN300, VN301, VN318, and VN319 will be delayed from 25 minutes to nine hours, the airlines said, adding that affected passengers should closely watch the weather forecast and the airlines' next announcements and can change to other flights on the same routes.

On October 12 and 13, due to the Typhoon Hagibis, 30 flights of Vietnam Airlines to Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya were affected. 

Vietnamese silk, brocade fashion show held in Russia

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

At the event

Over 70 creations by Vietnamese designer Minh Hanh were introduced at a silk and brocade fashion show in Moscow, Russia on October 20.

It was the third time the designer had introduced her creations in Russia.

Vietnamese artisans were also invited to the event to demonstrate their brocade weaving skills to visitors.

Speaking at the event, Counsellor and Chargé d'affaires at the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia Nguyen Quynh Mai thanked leaders of the Tsarisino Museum, the State Museum of Oriental Art and units concerned for creating favourable conditions for the organisation of the event, which came in concurrent with Vietnamese Women’s Day (October 20).

Designer Hanh told reporters that an exhibition on silk and brocade weaving was held on October 21 in Koloma, dubbed as a silk city of Russia.

She also hoped that she could soon hold a fashion show in Saint Petersburg, ancient capital of Russia.

Earlier, she delivered a lecture on Vietnam’s traditional long dress at Moscow State Linguistic University in late 2018 and introduced a collection of brocade and traditional long dresses at the State Museum of Oriental Art in June./.

Vietnam Airlines launches Da Nang-Quang Ninh flight

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines announced on October 21 that it will operate three flights a week connecting the central coastal city of Da Nang with the northeastern province of Quang Ninh from November 1.

Flights on the route are scheduled to take off at 14:35 from Da Nang International Airport and 16:35 from Van Don International Airport on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

This is the second domestic route linking with Van Don airport run by Vietnam Airlines, following the Ho Chi Minh City-Van Don flight. The move will contribute greatly to promoting Quang Ninh province’s trade and tourism cooperation with other localities, while helping complete the airline’s network.

The carrier uses Airbus A321 with four-star international standards for the flights, which are expected to bring more visitors to Da Nang city and vice versa.

On the occasion, Vietnam Airlines offers promotional fares starting from 199,000 VND (8.6 USD) (excluding tax and fees) for customers buying tickets from October 25 to November 10. The cheap fares are applied for journeys from November 1 to December 31.

Tickets can be purchased on website www.vietnamairlines.com, Vietnam Airlines mobile application, and at ticket offices and official agents nationwide./.

HCM City expands cooperation with Australian educational institution

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

At the reception

Ho Chi Minh City wants to cooperate with Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) in building a vision action plan related to education and training in the next 20 years, said Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan on October 21.

At a reception for Dr. Martin Bean, Vice Chancellor and President of RMIT University, Hoan said HCM City supports a proposal to open more branches of RMIT University in Vietnam, and will provide more assistance for the university’s operations in the coming time.

He congratulated the university on its successes and development in Vietnam over the last two decades, saying that those have remarkably contributed to Vietnam’s education development.

Hoan called on the educational institution to include high technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in its education and training programmes, thus creating high-quality human resources to meet the market demand.

HCM City is willing to closely coordinate with RMIT University to build a cooperation programme for the next 20 years, which will specify vision, plan, roadmap, and methods to implement cooperation activities in training, education and improving the quality of human resources, he affirmed.

For his part, Martin Bean thanked the city’s leaders for their support to the operations of RMIT University’s branch in HCM City over the last 20 years, hoping that the university will continue to be supported to better the training quality in the coming time.

RMIT University is ready to cooperate with HCM City to organize an international workshop on education and improving the quality of higher education, as well as the application of AI in the field. It will partner with the city’s relevant agencies and sectors to build an action plan for the next 20 years, thus benefiting both sides, he said./.

Hanoi international circus festival closes

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

A performance by Hungarian artists at the 2019 Hanoi International Circus Festival

The 2019 Hanoi International Circus Festival, which saw the participation of 13 circus troupes, closed on October 20 at the Hanoi Central Circus after a week of brilliant performances.

The 13 circus groups came from nine countries, namely Australia, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Egypt, Hungary, Laos, Singapore and host Vietnam.

Vietnam was represented by five troupes from the Vietnam Circus Federation, the Phuong Nam Arts Theatre, the Vietnam Circus and Variety Arts School, the Vung Tau Circus and Magic Troupe and the Ho Chi Minh City Theatre Association.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ta Quang Dong hailed the artists for performing skilful and innovative acts, bearing the culture identity of each nation and region.

Chairman of the arts council Ta Duy Anh stated that the quality of this year’s festival had improved with many up and coming, promising young talents.

At the closing ceremony, the organising board awarded gold and bronze medals to the best acts and prizes to the best director, trainer and group./.

8,000 drug tablets seized in Lào Cai

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

Two men are arrested for trafficking drugs. Photo baolaocai.vn

Police of northern mountainous province of Lào Cai arrested two drug traffickers and seized 8,000 methamphetamine tablets.

Hồ A Chừ and Giàng Nhà Chứ were caught on Saturday while taking a coach to Tung Chung Phố Commune, Mường Khương District to sell drugs.

They confessed to the police they bought 8,000 tablets of drugs using their own VNĐ100 million (US$4,400) from a Lao national whose name is unknown.

They travelled to Lào Cai City to sell drugs at the expected price of VNĐ140 million ($6,000) to VNĐ160 million ($6,900).

Before they could sell it, they were caught by the police.

Colonel Trần Quốc Huy, deputy director of Lào Cai’s Police, said the two were involved in a trans-provincial and trans-national drug trafficking ring which smuggle drugs from Lào Cai to China.

The police are investigating the case further.

Australian programme to engage youth across Southeast Asia

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

Elise Stephenson, considered one of 25 Young Women to Watch in International Affairs, will speak about building a business mindset, controlling the changing world of work at the Youth Entrepreneurs and Leaders Speakers Series programme in Việt Nam. — Photo aspi.org.au

The Youth Entrepreneurs and Leaders Speakers Series programme, part of an Australian public diplomacy programme, is being organised in Việt Nam from Oct 21 to 25 to enhance ties between ASEAN nations.

Funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and curated by Social Good Outpost, a women-led website and graphic design agency, the programme is being run across ASEAN member countries.

This year’s programme will focus on engaging and celebrating the vitality, diversity and capability of youth across Southeast Asia.

Its highlights include culinary showcases, film festivals, youth forums on smart cities, connectivity, and issues of regional significance.

It will also celebrate Gender Month, which kicked off on Việt Nam Women’s Day, October 20, and will run until the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25).

The programme includes a number of events that will be attended by youths from across Việt Nam, local organisations and NGOs.

Two multi-award winning Australian youth entrepreneurs will be leading the week’s activities, Felicity Furey, one of the Financial Review BOSS magazine’s Young Executives of the Year in 2016 and one of Australia’s “100 Women of Influence” in 2012 at the age of 26, and curator of the programme, Elise Stephenson.

In Hà Nội, the two women will address 200 students from the University of Foreign Languages of the Hà Nội National University.

Both talks are expected to encourage students to be brave, creative and entrepreneurial.

Furey will talk about “Building your future with technical thinking” and Stephenson about building a business mindset, controlling the changing world of work and using her academic background on international relations in her work and business activities.

Recently recognised as one of Boston Consulting Group’s 30 under 30 LGBTIQ+ Role Models and as one of 25 Young Women to Watch in International Affairs, Stephenson has a wealth of experience in women’s and community empowerment.

“We are excited to bring this programme to Việt Nam to build on the long-standing ties between our two countries and demonstrate the leadership potential that youth hold to solving some of our nations’ most crucial challenges,” she said.

The “Australia now” public diplomacy programme to engage youth is organised annually in a country or region of strategic significance.

New bridge, tunnel at An Phú intersection to reduce traffic congestion

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

A new bridge and tunnel will be built at An Phú intersection in HCM City's District 2 to reduce traffic congestion. — Photo sggp.com.vn

A new bridge and tunnel at An Phú intersection in HCM City's District 2 are expected to reduce traffic congestion in the area.

The city’s People Committee has directed responsible units to use the State budget for the first stage of construction.

The two-way tunnel with four lanes will connect Mai Chí Thọ Street with the Long Thành-Dầu Giây Expressway.

Total investment for the two projects is VNĐ1 trillion (US$45.2 million).

Traffic jams often occur at the An Phú intersection, which connects Mai Chí Thọ Street and HCM City-Long Thành-Dầu Giây Expressway near the Cát Lái Port.

The Mai Chí Thọ route from Hà Nội Highway to the intersection has four lanes for each side, two for four-wheel vehicles, and two for motorbikes.

Congestion at An Phú intersection often occurs because of heavy traffic on the route, especially during rush hour.

In 2017, the transport department asked for approval from the Ministry of Transport to build the tunnel and bridge to reduce traffic pressure on the route to Cát Lái Port and the Long Thành-Dầu Giây Expressway.

Last year, the beginning of the expressway from Mai Chí Thọ Street to Bà Dạt Bridge was expanded with more 3.5 metre on each side.

In addition, the department opened other 3.5 metre lanes from Mai Chí Thọ Street to the expressway and to Nguyễn Thị Định Street.

However, these solutions did not significantly reduce congestion. 

Cà Mau promotes cooperation between agricultural co-operatives and companies

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

Dried shrimp is a common agricultural product in Cà Mau Province.

Agricultural co-operatives, companies and other partners in Cà Mau Province have worked together to produce benefits for stakeholders, especially farmers.

The province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has helped link 22 companies and 23 shrimp farming co-operatives and co-operative groups to develop a value chain for shrimp.

The shrimp farming co-operatives and co-operative groups include 800 farmers who breed shrimp in a total area of more than 1,300ha with advanced farming techniques.

The Cái Bát Aquaculture Co-operative in Cái Nước District’s Hòa Mỹ Commune is one of them. Cái Bát was established in 2013 and has 127 members.

Thirty-five members of Cái Bát are breeding shrimp on a total of 30ha under Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards, while 54 members are breeding in an area of 348ha under Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards.

Nguyễn Văn Lâm, chairman of the Cái Bát management board and director of Cái Bát co-operative, said the co-operative has effectively worked with companies in buying material inputs and selling shrimp.

Under the co-operation, Cái Bát’s members buy shrimp fry at 15 Việt Nam đồng cheaper than the market price and shrimp feed at VNĐ5,000 – 7,000 a kilo cheaper than the market price.

Cái Bát’s members buy medicine and bio-products for breeding shrimp at prices 20 – 25 per cent lower than the market price.

The southernmost province, which is the country’s largest shrimp producer, has more than 280,000ha of shrimp with an annual output of 176,500 tonnes. Its shrimp is exported to 82 countries and territories.

Châu Công Bằng, deputy director of the department, said the province’s agriculture is shifting towards advanced techniques and exploiting its potential to develop sustainably.

Support for co-operatives that produce agricultural products with a value chain is necessary for the province’s agriculture restructuring, he said.

“This is considered a solution for increasing the value of products and sustainable agriculture,” he said.

The cooperation has also created favourable conditions for State management and for consumers to trace the origin of agricultural products.

Farming areas zoned with comprehensive infrastructure like irrigation, road and waste treatment systems have been established.

However, the cooperation still has problems, including the lack of legal regulations on farming contracts and the weak capacity of co-operative managers.

Some support policies for co-operatives have not been implemented promptly and members have not joined as a result. The operational efficiency of co-operatives must be enhanced, Bằng said.

Model co-operatives should be expanded to promote their key role in cooperation, he said.

The province has supported transfer of advanced techniques for post-harvest handling and processing, and provided soft loans for co-operatives.

The province has 130 agricultural co-operatives and they each have an average of 21 members and an annual revenue of VNĐ850 million (US$36,700), according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The province targets establishing about 120 new co-operatives and 100 new co-operative groups each year from now to 2030.

It has diversified agricultural products, including shrimp, rice, mud crab, honey, dried shrimp and dried fish. 

Bạc Liêu focuses on renewable energy industry

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

The Mekong Delta province of Bạc Liêu has great potential to develop solar and wind energy.

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bạc Liêu will maximise the potential and capacity of the province to develop the renewable energy industry, according to Dương Thành Trung, chairman of the provincial People Committee.

The province is identified as an area with great potential to develop the renewable energy industry with total sunlight hours of 2,200 to 2,700 hours per year and a radiation rate reaching 4.8kWh per square metre per day.

In addition, the province has good climate conditions and suitable topography, and is not affected by natural disasters.

Phan Văn Sáu, director of the province’s Department of Industry and Trade, said that investors were interested in implementing renewable energy projects on a suitable scale to ensure the feasibility of the projects.

The province has directed related units to work with investors on projects, and has asked investors to carry out procedures so they can receive preferential policies offered in the renewable energy industry.

According to the provincial Industry and Trade Department, 120 households have installed solar panels on their rooftops, with total capacity of 650kWh.

In addition, the provincial People Committee is working with one investor to install solar panels on nine office buildings with the total capacity of 2,600kWh.

For wind power, the province has 24 projects. Two of them having a combined capacity of 99.2MW have been put into use with output connected to the national grid reaching 300 million kWh per year.

Four projects have been approved by the authority and are under construction with expected total capacity of 292MW.

By 2021, the province expects to complete all wind power projects. When all of the projects are put into use, the province expects to provide more than 9,600kWh to the national grid.

No end point in building new-style countryside: PM

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

Lai Châu Border Guards help locals build roads in border communes as part of the new-style rural area programme. Since the programme’s start in 2010, tens of thousands of kilometres of rural roads have been constructed thanks to citizens donating their land, money and time.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said building new-style rural areas will continue long into the future, capitalising on the success of the nine-year programme

Addressing a national conference held in the northern province of Nam Định on Saturday, the PM said since the programme began in 2010, it has made historic breakthroughs, given a facelift to rural areas across Việt Nam, raised the stature of farmers, considerably improved their lives, and continues to restructure agriculture in a modern and sustainable manner.

 

The programme has successfully capitalised on the combined strengths of the political system and the people, he said.

He attributed its success largely to people’s contributions, adding that tens of thousands of kilometres of rural roads have been constructed without any cash spent thanks to locals donating their land, money and time to work.

However, PM Phúc also pointed out shortcomings of the programme and suggested a number of solutions.

He stressed that all localities must not be complacent about what they have achieved, but have the consistent viewpoint that building new-style rural areas is just the beginning, there is no end in sight.

The PM also requested localities nationwide to launch an emulation movement on building new-style countryside for 2021-25.

According to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường, the programme has helped turn many rural areas into good places to live.

Data shows building targets have been reached almost two years ahead of schedule. As of October 2019, 4,665 communes or 52.4 per cent of the total nationwide have been recognised as new-style rural areas, 2.4 percentage points higher than the target set for 2020. Among them, 63 communes have satisfied advanced criteria.

Eight provinces and centrally-run cities have had all of their communes winning the recognition, namely the provinces of Nam Định, Hà Nam, Hưng Yên, Thái Bình, Đồng Nai and Bình Dương, and the cities of Đà Nẵng and Cần Thơ.

Meanwhile, 109 district-level localities in 41 provinces and cities have gained the title.

In particular, with all of their communes and district-level localities meeting all criteria, Đồng Nai and Nam Định completed the task.

The annual per capita income in rural regions rose three-fold, from VNĐ12.8 million (over US$550 at the current exchange rate) in 2010 to VNĐ35.9 million in 2018. The income gap between rural and urban areas also dropped from 2.1 times to 1.8 times during the period. The household poverty rate in those areas has also declined sharply, about 1.5 per cent each year on average, to 7.38 per cent now.

Rural socio-economic infrastructure has been improved considerably, gradually meeting people’ daily and production needs and keeping up with local development demand. After more than nine years, more than 206,740km of rural roads have been constructed or upgraded across the country. Cultural and social aspects have also received more attention. 

Water checked for oils spills after ship sinks

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

Equipment is being prepared to prevent oil leaking after the ship sank. Vietnamese-flagged container ship VIETSUN INTEGRITY sank in Cần Giờ District’s Lòng Tàu River at around 1.50am on Saturday.

Officials of the Ministry of Transport, the HCM City People's Committee and concerned organisations on Sunday are examining the oil leaking prevention work after a container ship sank in Cần Giờ District.

Vietnamese-flagged container ship VIETSUN INTEGRITY sank in Cần Giờ District’s Lòng Tàu River at around 1.50am on Saturday, but there were no casualties.

The ship, around 132 metres long and with deadweight tonnage of more than 8,000 tonnes, was carrying around 290 containers when it went down.

On Friday, the captain notified the vessel traffic service centre of an engine malfunction, which caused it to list, a nautical term for leaning or tilting.

One container fell overboard, the vessel continued to list and the crew lost control of the boat and it sank on Saturday morning.

The 17 crew members jumped into the water and were safely rescued.

Nguyễn Xuân Sang, director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, said buoys were put around the sank ship to prevent oil leaking. A little of oil was leaked out of the ship, and was already collected. Divers were ready to take all of oil in the ship out.

Rescue workers prepared ships and cranes to collect containers floating on the water.

The ship, owned by Vietsun Corporation, was traveling from HCM City to Hải Phòng.

Permanent Deputy Chairman of the HCM City People's Committee Lê Thanh Liêm said the committee instructed the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment to take water samples in the affected areas for tests. The department must prepare treatment measures if any sample was tested to be unsafe.

Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể asked concerned organisations to collect all floating containers on the river to ensure waterway traffic safety, and investigate for reasons of the case.

The area between the Đồng Tranh – Lòng Tàu river intersection and Cambodia’s Four Faces River has been restricted to vessels.

Those travelling between HCM City and Vũng Tàu City have been told to follow the administration’s instructions for alternative routes and those of the officials at the accident site.

Children's writing award names winners

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

Juror Masahito Hirano gives certificate to the contest Special Prize winner Bùi Mai Khuê. — Photo organisation board

Khuê's story Bướm Lá (Leaf Butterfly) won first prize in the elementary school and younger category of the JX-ENEOS Children's Story Award, earning her a VNĐ5 million (US$200) prize.

The annual contest has run in Japan since 1970 and was brought to Việt Nam last year by Việt Nam More Production and Kim Đồng Publishing House.

Khuê also won the Special Prize at the contest. Bướm Lá tells the adventures of yellow leaves that are thought to be butterflies.

The story is inspired by the leaves falling from the tree a Khuê's mother showed her.

"It stands out among the contest participating stories. It is told by careful observation with fictional and fantasy elements to convey meaning," wrote juror Nagano Hideko in a book publishing the award-winning stories.

"Unique linguistic expressing and rhythmic sentences make the work touch the hearts of readers. I'm moved because of wonderful feelings in the story," continued the popular writer and cartoon illustrator in Japan.

Khuê is in fourth grade at Vietkids School and also entered the first contest held in Việt Nam last year.

She said she would spend part of the cash prize to buy books for children in remote areas.

"I want children to get to know about the contest and enter the contest next year to be winners like me," Khuê said at the award ceremony.

"I like going to Japan because my birthday is coming next month. I know Japan is a home of rising sun and sakura flower."

The elementary school and younger category brought laughter and surprise to the jurors and showed unlimited imagination, according to the organisation board.

The jurors also presented two second and two third prizes in the category.

The junior high school category's first prize went to 14-year old Nguyễn Diệu Linh Chi and Nguyễn Thế Vinh, 34, won first prize in the open category.

Winners at the high school category include one second and one third prize whilst the open category has one second prize and three third prizes.

Jurors included children’s writer Lê Phương Liên; Doctorate in Education and Chairwoman of Book Reading With Children Club Nguyễn Thụy Anh; JX Nippon Oil & Energy Vietnam Consulting and Holdings Masahito Hirano and others.

About 500 entries were sent to the organisation board from April to June in Việt Nam.

Vietnamese handicraft products promoted in Thailand

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

Lacquerware, rattan bags and woven toys are just some of the Vietnamese handicraft products on display at STYLE Bangkok — the biggest lifestyle trade fair in Asia.

The fair features designs in furniture, home decor and other lifestyle products.

Artisans and enterprises from Việt Nam travelled to Bangkok to participate at the fair, which opened officially on October 18.

The biannual event is being held for the fifth time by the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) under the Ministry of Commerce.

The focus of the fair is creativity and innovation, in line with the Thai government’s creative economy policy. It aims to boost the country’s image as a producer of international lifestyle products and support Thai entrepreneurs. It also creates a chance to connect businesses in lifestyle products around the world.

The October edition features about 1,800 booths of 1,000 exhibitors from 70 countries such as the US, Japan, India, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, England, China, South Korea and Việt Nam.

Sansern Samalapa, Vice Minister of Commerce, noted that lifestyle products were one of the most important industries because of the high potential of the product range, the quality of materials, skilled craftsmanship, and ability of producers, as well as their innovation and creativity. Even though the world economy was facing many challenges, the Thai lifestyle product industry remained strong and accounted for 5% of all exports in 2018.

“The event connects producers and the region with foreign buyers, especially those ones from regional countries like Việt Nam, the Philippines and China,” he said.

“It also underlines the country’s position as a hub for supporting and expanding businesses across ASEAN. In addition, STYLE Bangkok serves as a stage for the lifestyle product industry, which is almost totally made up of SMEs and talented designers who are eager to develop their creative and innovative products, add to their value and present them to international markets.”

The concept “Cre-novative Origin” is a perfect blend between Creative and Innovation and synonymous with Thai origin.

Apart from the exhibition, various sideline activities will be held such as an open space for knowledge sharing, and forums for participants, performances for artisans to demonstrate their skills, competitions for designers, and seminars.

Nguyễn Bích Ngọc Trâm from HCM City has a booth to display her woven toys at the fair. She has exported the products to many countries, but this is the first time she has attended the STYLE fair.

“I want to introduce my products to foreign partners at the fair. I've visited some booths and can see that Thai handicraft products are really sophisticated and creative.”

“The fair helps us exchange experiences and update on trends,” she said.

Nguyễn Thế Chiến, owner of Thai Metro supermarket in Hà Nội, attended the fair as a buyer. As a supplier of Thai products in Việt Nam, the fair was a good chance for him to find partners.

“I have attended fairs in Thailand many times to find the best products for Vietnamese people,” he said.

“The fair creates a good chance for me to seek partners and reliable sources goods. It also helps enhance co-operation between enterprises. Vietnamese products are also well received in Thailand.”

Kathathong Thongyai, assistant to director general of DITP, appreciated the participation of Vietnamese artisans and enterprises at the event.

“I believe the fair will provide opportunities for Vietnamese entrepreneurs to extend their businesses, boosting the economic growth of Việt Nam and the region,” he said.

“I am impressed by Vietnamese culture, cuisine and handicrafts. I believe that Vietnamese enterprises in these fields will gain success in Thailand.”

“I consider Việt Nam a promising market with a vibrant growing economy. I look forward to having more Vietnamese partners at the next fair.”

The fair will run until October 21 at the Bangkok International Trade and Convention Centre (BITEC).

Two communes try to build ‘zero waste’ model, communities

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

A waste classification training course is held among the community of the Chàm Islands, off the coast of Hội An.

A zero-waste model project has been launched in two communes – Cẩm Thanh in Hội An City and Tân Hiệp of the Chàm Islands – to promote waste classification and recycling, and plastic waste reduction and composting among the community.

The project, running from last month to March, 2021 with total funding of more than US$90,000 from USAID’s municipal waste recycling programme via the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), will help residents in the two communes reduce the waste they release daily from 75 to 80 per cent.

Việt Nam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines are the beneficiaries of the USAID project.

GAIA, a worldwide alliance of more than 800 groups, NGOs and individuals in 90 countries, advances community-driven waste solutions through systems change and policy advocacy.

The alliance focuses on promoting zero waste, reducing problematic waste streams like plastic, and putting an end to the burning of waste.

The programme also aims to boost waste classification at source and recycling as well as composting before disposal to a dump.

It also creates a monitoring solution for plastic waste and database for prolonged solid waste management.

According to the Chàm Islands’ Marine Protected Area management board, the islands population of 2,200 release from 3 to 3.5 tonnes of waste each day, with most of it burnt or sent to a landfill.

Meanwhile, Cẩm Thanh Commune, home to a 140ha nipa palm forest, plays an important role in the Chàm Islands-Hội An world biosphere reserve, as it shelters fish and aquatic species for breeding before moving back to the Chàm Islands.

Cẩm Thanh Commune's more than 2,000 residents still benefit from the wetland forest by earning much for their living from eco-tour service and crafts.

A report from Hội An City’s urban environment unit found the tourism hub produces 100 tonnes of garbage each day, of which 30 per cent is recycled or classified, while a local incinerator can only process 50 tonnes each day.

The Chàm Islands, 20km off the coast of Hội An, are seen as the first site in Việt Nam promoting the successful reduction of plastic bags and 3-Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) since 2011.

The islands ban all use of plastic bags among local residents and tourists, and a ‘say no to single-use plastic straws and cups’ campaign was launched early this year.

Farm zone in Đà Nẵng City goes green for safe vegetables

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 22

Nguyễn Thị Tùng, 66, harvests vegetables at a safe farm zone in Túy Loan Village of Đà Nẵng.

Farmers in Đà Nẵng are going green, using chemical-free fertiliser and bio-pesticide.

The farmers in Túy Loan Village in Hòa Vang District are also using the Việt Nam Agriculture Practice (VietGAP)-Participatory Guarantee system (GPS) application that gets farmers, shops, consumers and the administration involved in quality supervision.

The village, 20km northwest of the city, along with La Hường Village in Cẩm Lệ District, is one of two major sources of green vegetables for the city.

It’s also the first co-operative in the city to build an agricultural production chain and food safety brand.

The first 50 households in the village agreed to join the co-operative and strictly control the use of bio-pesticides and fertiliser and check each other's farm diaries.

The co-operative supplies 200kg of safe vegetables to local markets each day from a 8ha farm, earning a net profit of VNĐ30 million (US$1,300) each month and a monthly income of VNĐ5.5 million ($239) for each of the 50 farmers.

Nguyễn Thị Tùng, 66, said she has been working on a 750sq.m vegetable farm with less chemical-based fertiliser, pesticide and weed-killer.

“I saw that overuse of chemicals and pesticides had affected my health. I have spent more time with manual clearing work on grass and pests,” Tùng said.

“Formerly, we had to have at least 15-days off after spraying herbicide, but now we work every day in the field by reducing chemical-based pesticide,” she said.

The old farmer said she had to do more manual work, but suffered less exposure to toxic pesticides and weed-killer.

She said the quality of vegetables has improved since urea was not used by farmers in the village now.

Huỳnh Tấn Hoàng, 67, said using less chemical fertilier also helped cut 30 per cent of production costs.

“Our safe vegetables are sold at the price two times as much as that of farm produce from other chemical-using farms. We also fill information into a daily field book before products are sealed and branded. It’s easy to track the source of products after sale through strict procedures and paperwork,” he said.

“Only qualified vegetables will be collected by the Túy Loan co-operative on orders from supermarkets and shopping centres in the city.”

Hoàng, however, said manual work occupied 80 per cent of production costs, so they needed machinery and innovation to cut labour costs.

Đặng Thị Thanh Sang, a member of the co-operative, said at least 200kg of herbs and vegetables are harvested and packaged for delivery to big shopping centres in the city’s downtown daily.

“We have connected with big trade centres – Big C, VinMart and international schools – in supplying qualified safe farm produce,” Sang said.

“The co-operative helps farmers deliver their products to the market with a negotiated stable price. This means farmers do not need bring vegetable to the market themselves, while the co-operative helps them link up with trusted suppliers of seed and bio-fertiliser,” she said.

Lê Mỹ, an official from the city’s Plant Protection sub-department, said useful bugs were bred to kill worm larvae at farms, while solar-powered pest catching lamps were installed to deal with caterpillars.

Nguyễn Thanh Quang, from the city’s science and technology associations, said Túy Loan farmers have built links with 14 shopping centres and weekly farmers' fairs in the city to sell their produce.

He said farmers did cross-check procedures for fertiliser and bio-pest spraying to ensure farm products are fresh and safe.

Quang said the city has assigned seven safe farm zones to meet 30 per cent of the city’s vegetable demand.

Nguyễn Quang Dũng, head of the Túy Loan Co-operative, said the farmers also plant flowers to attract bees and ants, while powdered lime was used to fight pest larvae.

Dũng suggested hi-tech solutions such as drip irrigation, bio-pest automatic sprayers and agri-motors are needed to reduce manual work on farms.

The Túy Loan Co-operative has also received supports from Rikcolto-funded project from Belgium to boost supply of safe vegetables.

Hoàng Thanh Hải, co-ordinator of the Rikcolto project, said it helped build a GPS system for farmers in the two farm zones as well as retail market links.

The 1.1 million population in Đà Nẵng City consumes 145,000 tonnes of seafood and 140,000 tonnes of vegetables per year, but 70 per cent is supplied by neighbouring provinces of Lâm Đồng, Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Quảng Nam.

 
 

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