The Hoàng Liên Cooperative, supported by Agrisud and its partners as a part of the IDEAS* project, has just been launched. Its members, all of them coming from ethnic minorities living in the Hoàng Liên National Park (HLNP), aim to highlight their expertise and to promote local products with a sustainable development approach.
Inauguration of a local and agroecological products’ concept-store within the HLNP
After a year of work and learning, the 14 members of the Hoàng Liên Cooperative have just opened a place which serves as a shop of local products, a processing unit and a meeting place at the same time.
Located in a touristic area, this concept-store will allow producers to sell their products directly to the consumers and to raise awareness among tourists to environmental issues they have to face within the park.
To celebrate the beginning of this new adventure, a hundred of people attended the opening ceremony. Among them, many partners as well as many local stakeholders: the national park’s director, the director of the association of cooperatives of the Lào Cai province, the director of farmers’ association of Lào Cai, representatives from the quality control comitee, the representative of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, but also residents and local producers.
Many times to exchange on their visions, supports and expectations of this new project succeeded one another.The debate on opportunities and challenges which characterize the cooperatives in food systems was a highlight of this event.
A committed cooperative for a sustainable agriculture within the Hoàng Liên National Park
The goal of the cooperative is to gather the producers living in the park to exchange technical knowledge and optimize their financial resources. There is strength in unity so its members can access markets more easily as well as different services (training courses, production equipment… ) which allows them to improve their skills and income.
The cooperative members grow and comercialize two products with high local value: honey and jiaogulan. By making this choice, they are promoting a sustainable agriculture. Honey has a positive impact on the environment through pollination of flowers and cultures by bees. Jiaogulan grown by the members on their own land limits the extraction from natural environment of this popular tea.
The cooperative members frenquently exchange on their practices and organize training sessions among them and with other local producers to promote agroecological practices.
Strenghthening and diversifying agricultural activities for the HLNP etchnic minorities
Since its beginning, the Hoàng Liên Cooperative has been supported by the projet IDEAS (Income Development for Ethnic minorities based in Agriculture Sustainability) within the framework of a decentralized cooperation between the Lào Cai Province and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region.
This project, lead by Agrisud and its partners within the Hoàng Liên National Park, aims to:
- reinforce the farmers of the park on existing agricultural systems ;
- diversify their activities in order to make them less vulnerable to climate shocks and to have income generating production systems.
- gather farmers for them to have an easier access to markets.
Since 2017, the project has supported these families of producers to improve and diversify their agricultural activities. The goal is to reduce poverty, to limit the pressure on natural resources and to contribute to preserving local biodiversity of the HLNP.
By promoting agroecological practices and the commercialization of local products while valuing exchange, support and equity, the Hoàng Liên Cooperative is working for a sustainable development of local communities.
*Income Development for Ethnic minorities based on Agriculture Sustainability