Hanoi is rapidly expanding. Farming areas that have traditionally been on the outskirts of the city are now considered suburbs and some farmland is being converted to industrial use. Continuing to farm in this urbanizing environment requires prepared leadership and fresh thinking among residents about how to approach their farming business. Urbanization presents opportunities like infrastructure development but also challenges as much of the local labor force is seeking regularly waged employment in nearby industrial zones. Conventional farming practices need to change but first people have to change their thinking. To help with this change process, YWAM Mercy organized a training on Leadership and Mindset Change for farming businesses which was initially delayed by the pandemic but finally took place at the end of September.
Thirty-two (32) participants learnt how to make business plans, analyze the market, and to adapt to the changes that urbanization is bringing to their farming businesses. In group discussions, they considered how to attract local laborers to remain in the community to continue their farming work.
The training incorporated games to highlight messages regarding the changing farming structure, mind-set change for income generation, and the importance of increasing profits were demonstrated during the training. Mr. Thien from Thanh Hoa shared his experience with the group about how incorporating Vietgap farming products and practices, with proactive offline and online marketing plans, could lead to a more profitable business. In addition a hydroponics model and various other farming models were explored as options for the participants to consider.
After training, participants took time to consider their own situations. They shared how they intend to start their farming businesses, analyze the market, and focus on their family businesses. Participants realize they need to systematize all aspects of their work: mindset, market, IT application, business plan, financial management, work ethic, self-learning through online channels and such.
Through the training, most participants see the importance of learning new things, especially risk management and objective management which will help them navigate urbanization and the coronavirus pandemic. Many are eager to have a study tour organized by YWAM Mercy in order to learn more about doing farming business from others who have thrived during urbanization.
The training made me think a lot about how to do sales and marketing for our local products. I will spend more time to observe and analyze the market for my family’s business. This kind of training is really practical for me and other farmers in my location.