Friday, November 6, 2015

Vietnam agriculture ministry and CGIAR align development agenda

MARD Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh and IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler,
during the opening of the 1st MARD-CGIAR Coordination Meeting in Hanoi (6 November 2015).

HANOI, Vietnam – Seeking stronger complementarity in their joint research for development programs, leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) of Vietnam and the 10 CGIAR centers operating in the country, as well as other national partners, sat together on 6 November 2015 for the 1st MARD-CGIAR Coordination Meeting.

The meeting, convened by MARD with the help of the IRRI Vietnam office, was headlined by MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Director General Robert Zeigler. Minister Phat and Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh co-chaired the afternoon and morning sessions, respectively, with Dr. Zeigler.

MARD Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh, opening the event, lauded the contributions of the CGIAR centers to the development agriculture in Vietnam. He cited in particular IRRI's help in transforming Vietnam from a rice-deficit country in the 1980s to the world's second largest exporter of rice.

“IRRI is committed to providing the scientific underpinnings necessary for the success of Vietnam’s agricultural restructuring strategy, particularly its rice-based rural economy,” Zeigler added in a message. “Vietnam is poised to modernize its rice sector in response to new realities in demand, consumer preferences, and the imperative to ensure sustainable livelihoods for farmers.”

CGIAR's focus on site integration, Zeigler continued, is an opportunity for each center to work more effectively within a country as well as improve the integration of its work with those of other centers and with programs of the government.

MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat awards a medal certificate to
IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler "for the cause
of agriculture and rural development in Vietnam."
(Photo by L. Sebastian, IRRI Representative to Vietnam)
Zeigler, who has led IRRI in its mission for the last 10 years, was awarded by MARD a 'medal certificate' "for the cause of agriculture and rural development in Vietnam" in a ceremony held during the meeting.

Vietnam and the CGIAR’s various centers have been working together for more than 40 years, on collaborations that continue to contribute globally to food and nutrition security, as well as to helping agriculture cope with climate change and protecting the environment.

The other nine CGIAR centers represented were Bioversity, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Potato Center (CIP), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), and WorldFish.

In this milestone meeting, MARD laid out targets and plans for the development of Vietnam’s agricultural sector, its research orientation, and some proposed areas of collaboration for 2016 to 2020. In turn, the ten CGIAR centers operating in Vietnam gave the ministry updates on their research agendas and progress on implementation in the country. Areas of possible collaboration, as well as mechanisms for prioritizing these areas, were also discussed.


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