Hanoi, Vietnam – On February 16th, 2024, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) convened a crucial Technical Inception Workshop for the STAR-FARM project in Hanoi, Vietnam. The workshop, spanning from 8.30 am to 5.15 pm, served as a launchpad for collaboration and information sharing amongst key project stakeholders.

The workshop aimed to establish a strong foundation for project execution. This included:

Sharing Initial Findings: The workshop commenced with a presentation by FAO’s Mr. Beau Damen, outlining the project’s rationale, overall approach, and logical framework. This was followed by an introduction session where each of the five consortium members, including FAO, presented their areas of expertise, experience, and designated roles within the project.

Mr. Beau Damen – Representative from FAO

Data Collection Progress: The Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) team presented the progress of ongoing secondary data collection in the three designated provinces: Kien Giang, Dong Thap, and Tra Vinh. The team highlighted the data collection methodology and tools employed, with Tra Vinh being the first province to complete data submission.

Mr. Tran Dai Nghia – Representative from IPSARD

Consolidated Results Framework: Mr. Damen elaborated on the consolidated results framework, providing a clear overview of partner arrangements for implementing each project output. This presentation ensured alignment on target indicators and deliverables expected by both the donor and the Vietnamese government.

Project Management and Coordination: A representative from the Institute of Strategy and Policy for Agriculture and Rural Development (ICD-MARD) outlined the role and expectations of the Project Management Unit (PMU). The PMU, upon establishment, will develop operational guidelines to regulate the roles and responsibilities of various project entities, including the Steering Committee and implementing partners. Additionally, a workshop on draft operational guidelines was announced, seeking feedback from stakeholders.

Steering Committee and Agreements: The workshop also addressed the Project Steering Committee (PSC), a mandatory body comprising high-level representatives from MARD, the EU, FAO, and all implementing partners. The PSC will convene annually to provide project direction and make crucial decisions like workplan revisions and budget adjustments. Finally, the process of finalizing agreements between FAO and each consortium member was discussed. Operational Partnership Agreements (OPAs) are underway with the two French research institutions, while Letters of Agreement (LOAs) will be established with the Vietnamese institutions.

Mr. Dao The Anh – Representative from VAAS

Mr. Alexis Drogoul – Representative from IRD

Mr. Phillippe Tixier – Representative from CIRAD

Mr. Dang Kieu Nhan – Representative from Can Tho University

The STAR-FARM project’s Technical Inception Workshop marked a significant step forward. By fostering communication, establishing clear roles, and initiating data collection, the project has laid the groundwork for successful implementation and impactful contributions to sustainable agriculture in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

Meeting Agenda: STAR-FARM Technical Inception Workshop_Provision Agenda_EN