The topic of the project was the long-term impacts of Finnish aid in forestry and rural development. Forestry and forest-related activities has been one 'sector' that has been consistently emphasized in Finnish development co-operation. Yet the forms, and no doubt the impacts, of forestry aid interventions have greatly changed over time. Rural development is a related, more recent addition to Finnish development efforts and one that has gained in importance and continues to be pursued. Common to both forestry and rural development aid is that social and cultural aspects have asserted their importance and become more integrated over the years. That has made the interventions ever more multifaceted and their impacts ever more varied.
A recent analysis showed that market value of the chestnut crop from trees planted in Cao Bang could reach USD 26 million annually by the year 2013. A major advantage is that the chestnut harvest season coincides with the main period of demand in the large Japanese, Taiwan, and South East Asian Markets. It was hoped that the Cao Bang chestnut industry would be part of the next EC-funded project in Cao Bang. The PMU believed that the industry holds tremendous promise to alleviate poverty among the upland farmers, but that it required a serious and sustained marketing and processing effort.
Support to Freshwater Aquaculture' (SUFA) was one of five components under the bilateral FSPS. The immediate objective of the SUFA component was: Increased consumption and income from sustainable freshwater aquaculture by rural communities. 'Support to Brackish Water and Marine Aquaculture' (SUMA) was another of five components under the bilateral fisheries sector programme support. The immediate objective of the SUMA component was: Strengthening administration and management practices to supply marine aquatic products through environmentally and socially sustainable aquaculture development.
Support to Industry Restructuring and Enterprise Development (SIRED) was one of five components under the bilateral fisheries sector program support. The immediate objective of the SIRED component was: Established capacity of MOFI to advise and assist fisheries related enterprises to become autonomous and market oriented. The Export and Quality Improvement Project (SEAQIP I) was supported from mid-1996 to the end of 1999. The SEAQIP Component, which forms a part of the FSPS to the Vietnamese Fisheries Sector, supports the following five areas (1) Training within marketing and management; (2) Raised awareness of environmental performance and improvements; (3) Raised awareness of occupational health aspects and improvements; (4) Raised awareness of improved handling of raw materials in the chain from farm/vessel to factory; and (5) Raised awareness of efficient implementation of HACCP systems.
The aim of the Northern Mountains Poverty Reduction Project (NMPRP) was to target six rural provinces in Vietnam’s Northern Mountain Region with two main objectives: to reduce poverty, and to strengthen participatory management at the commune level (in the provinces. The project invests in 44 districts in the six provinces, benefiting approximately one million people, of whom 85% are ethnic minorities.
The objective of the assignment was to provide an assessment of PFM systems in five targeted provinces, possible fiduciary risks, and to propose systematic measures to mitigate risks and ensure safeguards when sector budget support is provided.
Pro-Poor Partnerships for Agro-forestry Development Project (3PAD) in Bac Kan province aimed to achieve sustainable and equitable poverty reduction and to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor in mountainous areas of Bac Kan Province. The project established an Agribusiness Promotion Investment Fund (APIF) with a total value of USD 2 million in financial support to provide up to 49% of its capital, including tax for public commodities generated from investments in Bac Kan Province. APIF aimed to create a premise for participation of the private sector in the province’s development in order to improve livelihoods; thereby transforming the traditional farming model to commodity-oriented, semi-commercial agriculture system. This transformation was essential to market development including supply chain and value chain improvement.
The Vietnam-Finland Forestry Sector Cooperation Programme has implemented a Credit Scheme since 1996 in Bac Kan Province covering two districts and nine communes. The Credit Scheme has evolved over the years since 1999 and in recent years has been managed by four separate operators: the Vietnam Bank for Poor in Cho Don and Ba Be, and the Women’s Union in Cho Don and Ba Be.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) undertook extensive planning activities to design three projects focusing on budget support for SME and agricultural development. in the provinces of Soc Trang, Ha Tinh, and Thanh Hoa. Alignment of CIDA funding to the provinces' plans and systems was the program's main strategy. This required significant upfront institutional capacity and risk assessments. MKE collaborated with CIDA and the provinces of ST, HT and TH to conduct capacity and risk assessments. The assessment’s intent was to assist CIDA and its provincial partners in completing the design of their three development initiatives. It assisted CIDA in: 1) furthering its understanding of PFM in Vietnam, in particular at the provincial level; 2) assessing the provinces’ capacity to carry out its main public financial management functions; and 3) assessing the associated fiduciary risks in each provincial context.
The assessment of the provinces of Soc Trang and Ha Tinh was carried out to assess the functional capacities of the key provincial organizations for delivering provincial programming in key areas identified. The assessment also determined how CIDA could best strengthen the provincial functional capacity to meet their objectives and expected results in specific areas identified for support (i.e. public financial management, small-scale infrastructures, small and medium enterprises – SME development, agriculture and rural livelihoods).
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