With this relevance and strong research for development (R4D) capacity, the National Coordination Office of the National Target Program on New Rural Development (NTP-NRD) forged a partnership with CGIAR centers operating in Vietnam to work together for the NTP-NRD or the Nông Thôn Mới program. As a comprehensive development program, the Nông Thôn Mới program not only aims to build new rural areas by having appropriate socio-economic infrastructure and protecting national defense and security but also combining agricultural development with industry and services and conserving the environment.
As one of the highlights of the Nông Thôn Mới National Conference held on 8 March 2019 in Dong Nai province, representatives from the various CG centers signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on complementary agricultural research, development, and extension activities under the program. Present during the MOU signing were the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong and Director General of NTP-NRD National Coordination Office Nguyen Minh Tien.
Dr. Ole Sander, the country representative to Vietnam, signed in behalf of IRRI. Other CG centers involved in the program are: the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, the Centre for International Forestry Research, the International Potato Center, the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the International Livestock Research Institute, the International Water Management Institute, and Worldfish.
In the MOU, CGIAR will be collaborating with Vietnamese government agencies on the various areas for R4D under the Nông Thôn Mới program, such as on: rural development governance models; development and promotion of sustainable and climate-smart rural landscape (i.e. Climate-Smart Village approach); promotion of agro and eco-tourism; climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, sustainable and zero deforestation commitment; and enhancing research capacity building, among others. In the next few months, CGIAR will help in the review of the initial 10-year implementation of NTP-NRD and in the program visioning for the next 10 years.
The CGIAR Research Program for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in Southeast Asia, hosted by IRRI Vietnam, was identified to be the CGIAR focal point and will lead the formulation of the work plans.