Around 10,000 households in the Mekong Delta provinces of An Giang, Dong Thap and Bac Lieu and Can Tho city have received training on the adoption of sustainable rice-farming practices and rice quality improvement, as part of a project underway since 2018, heard a conference on September 21.
The conference took place in Can Tho to review the results of the project Better Rice Initiative Asia phase II (BRIA 2) – Market-oriented Smallholder Value Chains Project (MSVC), or MSVC-BRIA 2, aiming to promote SRP standards for sustainable rice cultivation in the four localities.
Harvesting rice in the Mekong Delta.
It is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and Olam Agri Vietnam, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)’s Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development.
The project has enabled Vietnamese small-scale farmers to cut costs and increase earnings, and strengthened cooperation between cooperatives and processors.
In several demonstration farms, farmers were able to reduce the use of water by up to 40% and of NPK fertilisers by 15% as they were taught to shift from the traditional continuous flooding to drip irrigation.
Under the project, some 150,000 tonnes of international-standard premium-quality rice have been produced, creating a new opportunity to boost export to the EU and US.
Vu Van Tien, deputy head of the Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development, highly spoke of the efforts by stakeholders in developing a comprehensive set of measures, from cultivation techniques to market access, to improve quality of Vietnamese farm produce. What have learnt from the project will support regulators in building policies for better linkages between producers and distributors, he said.
He further noted that the MARD has approved a pilot project to develop a standardised agricultural and forestry region for both domestic consumption and export in the 2022 – 2025 period.
The ministry is also crafting a project to grow 1 million hectares of premium-quality rice to heighten earnings for farmers, ensure national food security and boost exports, the official added.