Aus4EqualityUpdatesAustralian Embassy’s visit to GREAT partners in Son La

Australian Embassy’s visit to GREAT partners in Son La

The GREAT Program helped broker bringing the Vietnam Trail Marathon to Moc Chau.  In its second year, its already firmly entrenched as one of the must do adventure events in Vietnam and has become an important economic driver for Moc Chau.  Coinciding with the Vietnam Trail Marathon event in January 2020, a delegation from the Australian Embassy in Vietnam that joined the race had an opportunity to visit GREAT partners in Moc Chau, Son La to see first-hand how agriculture tourism is increasing income for local ethnic minority women.

The visit included an inspection of GreenFarm’s tomato and vegetable nurseries, part of the growing food scene in the district, that also features dairy farms and stunning tea plantations. With a favourable climate, good soil, more land available for vegetable production and an increasing number of tourists, Moc Chau does not only contribute a large role in the growth of the province’s agriculture but also offers a huge potential for developing agriculture-tourism.

Mr Justin Baguley, Counsellor, Economic and Development Cooperation also stepped in to judge a cooking contest between homestay owners at Vat Village, a community-based tourism initiative supported by GREAT’s partner Action on Poverty. This is one of the activities hosted in Vat Village around the Marathon event to attract tourists, besides “The nicest and cleanest homestay” and “Gender Equality” competitions. The event attracted the participation of hundreds of women and men in the village and help raise their awareness on both gender equality and the importance of maintaining professional tourism services.

Mr Baguley remarked: “It’s really exciting to come and see how commercial enterprises are looking to support farmer groups. By helping expand the available services and professionalism of the homestays this will hopefully help attract greater number of tourists to come and enjoy the community-based tourism experience.”

An exhibition of GREAT partners at the finish line of the Marathon showcasing local specialty products including tea, passion fruit, rice, bamboo, vegetables and local tourism attracted a large interest from competitors. It was clear that Moc Chau is well on the way to capitalising on its tourism potential and improving the livelihoods of ethnic minority women.