CGIAR Gender News

Examining connections among seed system, nutrition and gender in Vietnam

Vietnam Photo:  Guido da rozze/Flickr

A study in Vietnam explores the interplay between seed system, nutrition and gender among three ethnic minorities in the Northern mountainous region of Vietnam. The study examines the impact of seed system interventions on nutrition and women’s empowerment.

Vegetables are an important source of income and nutrition for ethnic minorities in Vietnam’s northern highlands. According to a report of Vietnam’s Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development, there were 750,000 farmers producing vegetables in these areas in 2017, currently, more and more people are getting involved in vegetable production. Despite this potential, smallholder farmers face multiple seed-related challenges, resulting in their lack of access to quality seeds.

According to a policy brief published in 2021, their main barriers to quality seeds include insufficient seed availability, poor post-harvest handling practices, lack of quality guarantees, high seed prices, long distances to markets, and limited participation in seed value chains. Inadequate access to quality seeds not only negatively affects vegetable production but also vegetable diversity and diet quality. Ethnic minority households rely mostly on their own production for vegetable consumption. In addition, inadequate nutrition knowledge and skills among ethnic minority communities aggravates their food and nutrition insecurity.