Rikolto works with the city of Da Nang, to increase consumers’ access to safe food and promote the use of sustainable production techniques to ensure a more sustainable and inclusive food system in Vietnam.
Although modern markets are increasingly selling traceable food with proper quality assurance, the city is still struggling to ensure that reliable safe food is supplied to traditional markets, the main shopping place for the majority of city dwellers.
Another challenge is the low per capita yearly income of vegetable farmers around Da Nang which revolves around 36 million VND (approx. 1,330€). This low figure is mostly due to the lack of opportunities to participate in higher value food chains such as those for safe vegetables. Affordable quality assurance to enable farmers to access safe food markets is largely unavailable, leaving few incentives for them to invest in safe production.
Furthermore, Da Nang is unable to produce most of the food that it consumes. About 80-85% of the total demand for animal husbandry products is met by imports from other provinces. Only 100 ha of land are cultivated for vegetable production, supporting less than 10% of the city’s demand with only 3 production areas being VietGAP certified. Because of this shortage of land, 140,000 tons of vegetables are imported each year from other provinces and countries.
Ensuring consumers' access to quality safe food and making sure that smallscale farmers are involved in safe food chains are among the priorities of our collaboration with Da Nang.
Based on the joint planning workshop, we decided to focus our resources on the following priorities:
The Food Smart Cities Cluster is an initiative that brings together the cities of Ghent (Belgium), Da Nang (Vietnam), Solo (Indonesia), Quito (Ecuador), Tegucigalpa (Honduras), and Arusha (Tanzania), with 6 regional Rikolto offices, RIMISP (the Latin American Centre for Rural Development) and the RUAF Foundation.
The Food Smart Cities Cluster develops sustainable models of cooperation in multi-stakeholder partnerships on a variety of issues such as rural urban linkages, sustainable business models between actors in the food chain, sustainable catering, healthy food for school canteens, and consumers’ access to safe, quality food.
Our interventions take place at 3 different levels. First, we pilot concrete projects with our partner cities on strategy design, urban and peri-urban food chains, sustainable catering in schools, implementation of cities’ food policy, etc. Second, we encourage learning and expertise sharing through peer-to-peer monitoring and knowledge exchange among members of the network and beyond. Third, we strive to influence the international agenda in favour of more sustainable urban food systems and inclusive rural-urban value chains by leveraging the evidence gathered in the field to feed discussions at international platforms.
Rikolto uses CIAT’s definition of sustainable food systems:
Sustainable food systems are those food systems that aim at achieving food and nutrition security and healthy diets while limiting negative environmental impacts and improving socio-economic welfare. Sustainable food systems are therefore protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as human well-being and social equity. As such they provide culturally acceptable, economically fair, affordable, nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy foods in a way that balances agro-ecosystem integrity and social welfare.
We have achieved the following results:
Rikolto in Vietnam’s food smart cities interventions will specifically contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
Between March and August 2019, three journalists from the magazine Eos Tracé visited partner cities of Rikolto's Food Smart Cities programme. During these visits, they interviewed more than 130 people and discovered initiatives that make safer, healthier and sustainable food more accessible to citizens. This book tells their stories from 9 cities in Vietnam, Belgium, Tanzania, Indonesia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
In 2017, Da Nang’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Rikolto signed a Memorandum of Understanding to kick-start their partnership aimed at supporting Da Nang to become a Food Smart City. On 6 and 7 July 2017, Rikolto and Da Nang’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development organised a participatory planning workshop to agree on the main orientations of their 5-year collaboration on Food Smart City. The workshop was attended by representatives of various city departments (Agriculture, Industry & Trade, Health), and representatives of farmer organisations, private sector and civil society. Together, the participants came up with a draft plan to improve the management of food safety in the city, increase safe vegetables supply in Da Nang, and improve consumers’ access and trust in safe food.