Monday, July 1, 2019

IRRI, CCAFS support the promotion of climate-smart rice production in Vietnam

Dr. Nguyen Viet Khoa, head of Training and Education Division of the National Agriculture Extension Center, presenting the draft modules on climate-smart rice production. Photo by: NAEC
To mainstream climate change adaptation and mitigation in rice production, the National Agriculture Extension Center (NAEC) of Vietnam developed a set of training materials on climate-smart rice production for extension staff and rice farmers. With the help of experts from the various agencies attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, such as the institutes of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, NAEC drafted updated modules and presentations on the different steps of rice production and on effective communication and extension.

Eight specific modules were developed tackling topics such as adaptive cropping calendar (rice varieties, soil preparation, and crop establishment); water management; waste and by-product management, reducing post-harvest losses; and scaling and evaluation. For the first time a specific module on climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in rice production has been included in the training outline as well. Alongside improving the clarity of lessons, the participants were also trained on how to keep the interest and attention of farmers, another crucial element for a successful training. The modules are intended to be used in the rice intensive region of Red River Delta, and eventually later-on, in the Mekong River Delta.

These materials and presentations were prepared with support of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA), and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition upon request of NAEC.

To pretest the extension materials developed, a test-training, co-organized by NAEC, IRRI, and CCAFS, was conducted in Thai Binh Province on 6 June 2019. To provide input on the form, content, and delivery of the lessons, various actors in the agriculture sector, including experts, scientists, extension workers, and government officials attended the training.

The experience of the participants on the ground proved to be valuable in the test training. Based on the stories of the extension workers from Thai Binh, around 100 farmers usually attend their trainings, a manifestation of the farmers’ interest to learn about new technologies in rice production. With the feedback gathered from the test training, all lessons will be improved and the final versions will be disseminated by NAEC in time for the next cropping season.

The test-training was facilitated by agricultural experts, including Dr. Tran Van Khoi, Director of NAEC; Dr. Mai Van Trinh from the IAE; Dr. Nguyen Viet Khoa from NAEC; Dr. Tran Duc Toan from SFRI; and Dr. Bjoern Ole Sander, IRRI Representative to Vietnam.

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