This year Vietnam marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of Doi Moi, the socialist government's series of reforms that loosened its control on free enterprise and opened the once-isolated nation to international trade. Although the changes succeeded in boosting exports and reducing overall poverty levels, they also created a widening economic gap between urban and rural areas, particularly among Vietnam's ethnic minorities.
Since 2009, the Japanese NGO Seed To Table has been supporting those who have fallen through the cracks in Doi Moi. Founded by Tokyo-born Mayu Ino, the organization helps farmers to survive, and prosper, in Vietnam's market-oriented economy.
"We encourage sustainable development by helping farmers to generate regular income. At the same time, we assist them to become more self- sufficient while protecting the natural resources in their communities," Ino says.