last week, I am representing the Rural Sociology Group in a case study summer programme organized by Can Tho University's Mekong Delta Development Research Institute. [caption id="attachment_1734" align="alignleft" width="300"] Meeting with district representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development[/caption] On Friday, August 7th, the Case Study group visited two areas in the Soc Trang province of Vietnam. The first stop was a visit to a district office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Here, students and staff were able to ask officials questions related to their selected research topics and interests. One policy initiative we learnt about was a plan to increase the number of dairy cows in rural areas as a poverty reduction strategy. This programme stems from the national Agricultural Restructuring Plan where key crops and animals were identified, dairy cows being one of them. [caption id="attachment_1735" align="alignright" width="300"] Pigs for bio gas and food[/caption] From there we moved to My Xuyen district where food production is centred on upland crops. We visited two farms here. The first had cows and pigs and were producing bio gas. In this family, the husband undertook farm labour and the wife worked a government job.