Farmers apply climate-smart agriculture to increase production and resilience

October 28, 2021 - 09:53
According to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Lê Quốc Doanh, this will allow them to save resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the long run. 


Conference on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in Southeast Asia in Hà Nội on October 26. VNS Photo Tố Như

HÀ NỘI ­– Farmers are increasing crop and livestock production through the development of smart agricultural solutions. According to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Lê Quốc Doanh, this will allow them to save resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the long run. 

This change is a result of the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in Southeast Asia, which gave recommendations to the Vietnamese agricultural sector on how to respond to the challenge of climate change.

Smart solutions will contribute to building a high-tech, sustainable and resilient agricultural industry that can cope with market and climate fluctuations, Doanh said in the CCAFS meeting on Tuesday.

CCAFS has also empowered smallholding farmers through research on gender in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) applications and provided useful and relevant climate information services, he said.

The closing conference of CCAFS Southeast Asia, held both face-to-face in Hà Nội and via Zoom, was organised after a successful ten-year run in the region. It was attended by hundreds of different stakeholders and partners implementing CCAFS flagship projects and activities in Việt Nam and Southeast Asia (SEA).

Since its inception in SEA in 2013, CCAFS has promoted climate-smart agriculture as a tool to address the increasing impacts of climate change.

Hosted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Việt Nam Office, CCAFS SEA has worked with partners in its several priority countries, such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Việt Nam.

Prof. Dr Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, President of the Việt Nam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said the CCAFS SEA has supported South-East Asian countries in fulfilling their international commitments to Nationally Determined Contributions, the Việt Nam’s National Adaption Plans in agriculture and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action for rice in Thailand.

The experience in establishing and implementing seven Climate-Smart Villages, which serve as a multi-sectoral platform for testing the technological and institutional options for climate change adaptation and mitigation in agriculture.

One of the greatest achievements of the co-operation between Việt Nam’s MARD and the CCAFS SEA is the application of the Climate-Smart Maps and Adaption Plans (CS-MAP) for 43 provinces and cities across the country, Doanh said.

The results of CS-Map application in the Mekong Delta showed that adjusting the sowing schedule helps farmers avoid the adverse effects of drought and saltwater intrusion that often occur in the winter and spring, the deputy minister said.

CS-MAP is a participatory approach that integrates local knowledge and science-based researches in developing climate-related risks maps and adaptation plans, suitable to location-specific conditions.

CCAFS SEA also aims to support its partners in other countries in mitigating greenhouse gases from agriculture.

As part of flagship projects on low emissions development, Dr Bjoern Ole Sander, IRRI’s Country Representative to Việt Nam, shared advanced rice production technologies such as alternate wetting and drying, low-emissions straw management, and post-harvest management, which reduces GHG emissions and improve productivity and climate resilience.

These techniques had been scaled successfully in the Mekong River Delta region, helping tens of thousands of farmers, he said.

In addition, the innovative tools that IRRI-CCAFS had developed will contribute to measuring, reporting and verifying GHG emissions in agriculture and will support agriculture policy and planning to achieve Vietnam's mitigation commitments in agriculture, he added.

To recognise its contribution to the agriculture sector of Việt Nam, the MARD gave special recognition to IRRI and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) - CCAFS SEA.

CCFAS SEA, through its activities, supported MARD in mainstreaming CSA in the national policies and key programmes.

Even though the CCAFS programme was ending, OneCGIAR will continue its work in Việt Nam and in SEA under its next initiatives.

In the meeting, Dr Jean Balié, Director General of IRRI and OneCGIAR Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Pacific, introduced the participants to OneCGIAR’s 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy.

One of the key initiatives for the region is the 'Initiative on Securing the Asia-Pacific mega-deltas against sea-level rise, flooding and salinisation', he said.

He also emphasised the importance of OneCGIAR co-operation with ASEAN countries to develop solutions to respond to the pressing issues of climate change, food security and nutrition, disruption of agricultural supply chains, and depletion of natural resources. – VNS