From the 4th to the 11th of March, 2023, team members of NIFAM project (Nutrition Intervention Forecasting and Monitoring), Faculty of Economics and Rural Development, Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) and its partners conducted a fieldwork to identify issues related to food environment in Kon Plong district, Kon Tum province.

The research team was led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Van Hung, Faculty of Economics and Rural Development, VNUA, along with project members from the University of Bonn, Germany, and the Social Policy and Ecology Research Institute (SPERI). The team visited and discussed with the staff of the People's Committee of Kon Plong district, the People's Committee of Dak Nen commune and local people (farmers) in Dak Nen commune, Kon Plong district, Kon Tum province.


Meeting and discussing with the staff of the People's Committee of Kon Plong district

Through the discussions with district and commune officials, it has been observed that Kon Plong district is one of the 74 poorest districts of the country according to the Prime Minister's Decision (Decision 353/QD-TTg dated March 15, 2022). Dak Nen commune is the most remote and poorest commune of the district. The commune is located just 65 kilometers from the district center, partly bordering Quang Ngai and Quang Nam provinces. The total land area is approximately 12 thousand hectares and the commune has 8 villages, 614 households and 2,496 residents in total in 2022 (mainly Ca Dong people, a branch of the Xe Dang ethnic minority group). It also has 402 poor households (accounting for more than 65%) and 88 near-poor households (accounting for about 14%). The conditions of the commune and its households/farmers are very difficult, therefore it has the highest poverty and child malnutrition rates among the communes in Kon Plong district.


Meeting and discussing with local officials of Dak Nen commune

During the fieldwork, the project's research team discussed with groups of children (pupils/school students) from 10 to 15 years old, mothers and fathers which had children under 6 years old, elderly women (grandmothers) and elderly men (grandfathers) in Dak Nen commune. The objective was to draw an overall picture of food environment (food sources, types, and choices) in the region.


Dr. Cory Whitney, Project Leader from Germany side, and PhD candidate Bui Thi Khanh Hoa discussed with a group of children/pupils aged 10-15 years old

Dr. Cory Whitney and project members discussed with groups of elderly women and men

The trip and discussion were the fundamental activity for the project's research team to build a model and propose the most appropriate and feasible interventions for local people in order to increase accessibility and diversify of food sources. It was also anticipated to contribute to improving the livelihoods and nutrition daily of local people in the near future.

Bui Thi Khanh Hoa - research group on Economics and Natural Resource Management