As part of the collaboration between An Giang University (AGU) and the Australian National University (ANU), from 15/09/2017 to 19/09/2017, the ANU delegates visited the Research Center for Rural Development at An Giang University for field trips and extensive discussions on designing Vietnam Field School 2018 for ANU students.
Dr. Ashley Carruthers (Archaeology and Anthropology Department – ANU) and Ms. Edwina Fingleton-Smith (Fenner School of Environment and Society) together with Director Board and Staff of the AGU Research Center for Rural Development visited traditional craft villages in An Giang. Some destinations to be named were Phu Binh Broom village (Phu Tan district) and Chau Phong Brocade village (Tan Chau District) of Cham ethnic people. The craft villages were believed to create jobs for the local people, especially women and to attract domestic and international tourists.
Besides, the delegates visited My Hoa Hung Commune and observed an integrated agriculture model in My Phu Dong Commune – Thoai Son District, Vinh Binh Food Factory (Vinh Binh – Loc Troi Company) and Tra Su Melaleuca forest in Van Giao Commune – Tinh Bien District.
My Hoa Hung Commune is well-known for its traditional cultural preservation of rural areas despite being close to urban area of Long Xuyen City. The delegates paid a visit to the local clinical center for a better understanding of the local health care system and were impressed by the local clean vegetable production and the homestay tour. These would be parts of the study programs for prospective ANU students in An Giang.
Visiting My Phu Dong Commune, the delegation got to know paddy rice cultivation model with fish-duck farming with very little or no use of pesticide for safe agricultural products. The Australian delegation looked forward to ANU students’ chances to learn about these models in the future.
At Tra Su Forest of 845 hectares, there were a number of animal species, two of which were in the Vietnam Red List of Threaten Species. The fresh and clean environment of Tra Su Forest left good impressions in the delegation and tourists, which was believed to attract future ANU students.
After the field trips, ANU delegation had a meeting with the Research Center for Rural Development, Deans of the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Research Management - International Relations Office. Dr. Ashley admitted to be impressed by the filed trips and visited destinations and looked forward to future field trips for ANU students. An outstanding point in this trip was the models at My Hoa Hung Commune which ANU delegation emphasized on extending the duration of the field trips here for ANU students. The meeting was continued with a discussion on designing Vietnam Field School 2018 program, which would be attended by the first group of 25 ANU students in January 2018. Both AGU and ANU look forward to a successful implementation of the program and further cooperation.
Vo Van Oc – Research Center for Rural Development (Translated by Chi Do Na)