Dr Nagothu Udaya Sekhar, International coordinator
Climate change, along with social and economic changes in the coming decades will impact agriculture sector, rural livelihoods and food security in Vietnam, if it is not addressed properly. At the same time, agriculture sector will contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) significantly. The current global estimates of GHGs from the agriculture sector are about 14%. And in Vietnam, GHG emissions from agriculture will be about 64 million tons of CO2 by year 2020. Since rice is the major crop grown in Vietnam, most GHGs will come from rice production. It is a challenge to develop potential adaptation strategies to sustain rice production, which at the same time can help in reduction of GHG emissions.
The proposed three year interdisciplinary project will focus mainly on the future climate change impacts on rice production in Vietnam. As a first step, the project will review the current studies and programs taken by other donor agencies (eg. FAO, EU, AusAID, etc), share knowledge and establish links with the project groups where needed. The existing climate scenarios will be downscaled and the climate impacts on seasonality in rainfall leading to droughts, and salinity in coastal areas on rice production will be assessed. Potential measures leading to improved rice cropping systems (eg. System of Rice Intensification (SRI), Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD)), improved nutrient use efficiency, (eg. organic manure and use of microbial fertilizers) will be pilot tested. This will contribute to sustained productivity and mitigate climate change. The project will develop the institutional and policy support required to adopt the potential measures identified and tested in the project. The project will actively involve stakeholders at the provincial and national level (VAAS, MARD, MONRE and other relevant stakeholders).
Three programme areas
The project study will be carried out in three provinces, namely Nam Dinh (in Red River Delta) , Soc Trang (in Mekong River Delta) for saline intrusion problems and Tra Vinh province for drought, where selected measures will be pilot tested for their potential adaptation and mitigation impacts, and their performance validated in cooperation with local agencies and farmers. The tested measures and their complementarity and synergies with the ongoing REDD+ initiatives in Vietnam will be explored, to enable the inclusion of agriculture sector and farming communities in the process of reducing carbon emissions. The project results will support the MARD strategy for agricultural development as well as the ARD Action Plan to Climate Change. The wide network of agricultural and extension agencies located across the country under VAAS will be used for dissemination of project results. The project will use an interdisciplinary approach to address the main concerns in rice production, besides emphasis on stakeholder interaction (farmers, women groups, government authorities, private sector) from the beginning of the project. This is also to ensure strengthening of science-policy linkage in the project.