Agricultural extension and communication in Vietnam

Bles Dairies supports the development of a sustainable dairy sector in Vietnam through the Dairy4Growth project. By improving the farmers’ skills and knowledge and by ameliorating their socio-economic livelihood, they aim to produce sustainable dairy products that meet the quality standards. Various support missions have taken place providing mainly technical advice to improve the dairy situation. In April 2019, a mission was fielded to train and strengthen the communication capacities of the extension workers.

The mission on Agricultural extension and communication was organized by the dedicated project staff of the FDOV project “Development of a sustainable dairy sector in Vietnam”. Lambertus Vogelzang, independent trainer-coach on organizational and personal development in agricultural settings, took care of the implementation. He noticed that Vietnamese extension workers are generally focused on theory, expert role and one-way communication.

During the one week training they worked actively in the class room and at farms to strengthen the capacities of the extension workers in how to link up with farmers in a respectful way, how to involve farmers in problem inventory, analysis and advise, as well as how to work at an equal level as partners. The success of the training was that gradually more and more extension workers showed eagerness and steps forward to share insights, experiences and simply willingness to progress in their own extension development. The coming period will show how these practical training results will be used in the practice of the dairy farm development.

Lambertus Vogelzang concluded: “Overall, it was an interesting mission seeing the opportunities for dairy development. The potential for demand of dairy products is existing and Vietnamese people are working hard to make development possible. Moreover, it was simply enjoyable to work with committed and friendly Vietnamese colleagues and participants!”