Establishing a Transformative Learning Framework for Promoting Organic Farming in Northern Vietnam: A Case Study on Organic Tea Production in Thai Nguyen Province
Keywords:Organic tea, Food safety, Transformational learning, Perception, Stakeholders, Collaboration, Production, Export
Tea is one of the important cash crops for smallholder farmers in Thai Nguyen, a northern province of Vietnam. The increasing demands for food safety and environmental sustainability have led to development of organic tea farming in the area. However, due to a number of challenges such as inappropriate awareness and vision amongst tea growers, small-scale production, poor resources, limited market information and linkages, and costly third party certification of organic products,â€¦ only a few farmers pursue organic production practice. This paper provides an in-depth context analysis using SWOT mapping tool and formulates a transformative learning framework with detailed process steps as a guide for developers and practitioners to facilitate successful transformation of their mindset and thus appropriate actions among conventional and/or non-organic farmers towards environmentally sound practices. Critical reflection, shared vision and enhanced communication among stakeholders are needed. Likewise, the paper also emphasizes holistic and participatory approaches in understanding the context, defining real issues, engagement of stakeholders and importance of true participation and multi-stakeholder collaboration for sustainable outcomes. Besides, raising awareness and facilitating readiness for change among nonorganic tea growers should not be separated from other interventions by the government and other stakeholders.
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