Success story: organic cinnamon plantation supports women’s empowerment

Success story: organic cinnamon plantation supports women’s empowerment

More than 700 hectares of organic cinnamon in Nam Det commune have been issued an international organic cinnamon certificate by USDA Organic, bringing the total area of organic cinnamon to be certified in Nam Det commune to over 1,300 hectares.

Across multiple value chains, women producers’ potential is restricted by a division of roles and responsibilities between women and men that exclude women from decision-making and lead to high domestic and income-generating workloads.

The Women’s Economic Empowerment through Agricultural Value Chain Enhancement (WEAVE) project is funded by the Australian Government and implemented by a partnership of three international non-governmental organisations - CARE, Oxfam and SNV. WEAVE will support ethnic minority women’s economic empowerment in pork, banana and cinnamon value chains.

With the support of SNV Vietnam through the enhancement of the cinnamon value chain in Lao Cai Province, the project has implemented training and practical guidance. It has thereby improved production efficiency, designed to realise new connections and efficiencies for producers and other business people in the value chain for their social, ecological and economic viability in the target communities. It has promoted equality between women and men within households and producer groups, strengthening women and men producers’ skills and bargaining power. It has also worked with business and government decision-makers to improve the policy environment to support producers, so that women can increase their work income through the cinnamon value chain in Nam Det commune.

In order to develop the area sustainably, SNV has cooperated with major export enterprises (such as Son Ha Company) to organise surveys and evaluations, and conduct certification for 334 households in Nam Det commune. Nam Det is the first model of Lao Cai province with 1,323.5 hectares of cinnamon, accounting for 70.8% of the total cinnamon area of the whole commune. The international organic cinnamon certificate has contributed to improving the value of cinnamon, forming a specialised cinnamon production area associated with the value chain of the local cinnamon industry. Cinnamon raw material areas are managed from breeding, methods of planting, tending, exploiting cinnamon sustainably, environmental protection, preserving and developing the ecological diversity in cinnamon growing areas, supporting the implementation and management of organic cinnamon areas are ensured to grow.

With this good news, the business chances are also wide open, which could increase the number of orders and help the cooperative to operate all year round in order to create more jobs and stable income for women in particular and local laborers in general.

The success of this model is very important in promoting the development of sustainable raw material areas and improving the lives of ethnic minorities in the highlands of Vietnam.