The First Assessment of the Vietnamese Potato Project

How can the introduction of Dutch potato varieties in Vietnam contribute to food security? This is the central question for the project ‘Growing out of poverty with potatoes’. The project is partially funded by the Dutch government and carried out by a consortium led by the Vietnamese company Fresh Studio.

In the project, farmers are trained in the area of good agricultural practices and tests are carried out on Dutch varieties in order to get them registered (approved) for the Vietnamese market. The project takes an innovative approach by also helping the Vietnamese consumer to become more familiar with potato consumption and its advantages.

Monitoring and evaluation 

CREM monitors the progress of the initiative annually and will carry out the final evaluation. The goal of this is to:

  1. Meet the practical requirements of the grant provider
  2. Take the practical role of providing critical input in the area of corporate social responsibility and creating a solid basis for future impact claiming

Logical framework as a starting point 

The first monitoring mission took place in April 2015, which led to deeper insight into the background and goals of the project and its activities and outputs from the previous period. In addition, in cooperation with Fresh Studio, a new logical framework was worked out which summarized the relationship between impacts, outcomes, outputs, activities and assumptions. This framework provides the starting point for future annual monitoring and the final evaluation.

Developments outside the project scope

Finally, the issues and developments outside the project which could have an impact on its outcome were identified. One example is the Vietnamese government plan to add potatoes to the national strategic crops list. If that happens, potato famers will also get support from the Vietnamese government. With a view to future impact claiming it is important to monitor whether, for example, an increase in potato production is due to the involvement of the Vietnamese government or to Fresh Studio’s project.

Consultation with the authorities

The addition of potatoes to this list could also possibly lead to stricter requirements for registration and thus to higher testing costs for the intended Dutch varieties (for which no project budget is reserved). Through early consultation with the Vietnamese government, these potential problems can likely be overcome.

More info: Victor de Lange