Thursday, May 9, 2024

USDA, MARD, and IRRI advance 4R nutrient management for enhancing fertilizer productivity and sustainability in Vietnam

Can Tho City, Vietnam (April 15-17, 2024) - The Plant Protection Department (PPD), in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), organized a Training of Trainers event focusing on nutrient management and strategies to boost fertilizer efficiency while mitigating carbon footprint. Under the Fertilize Right (FerRight) Project, the training aimed to impart essential knowledge on the 4Rs approach and the introduction of tailored nutrient management practices alongside innovative fertilizer technologies.

Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service under the U.S. Department of State’s Global Fertilizer Challenge, the FerRight Project is set to align its activities with the 4Rs concept of nutrient management, emphasizing the application of the Right nutrient source, at the Right rate, at the Right time, and in the Right place. Launched on April 9, 2024 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and USDA, the project set the stage for a collaborative effort between the U.S. and Vietnam governments to enhance fertilizer efficacy and reduce emissions.

Mr. James Yi, the Agricultural Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, commended the participants' enthusiasm for the training, acknowledging the joint commitment of the U.S and Vietnam governments in advancing efficient fertilizer use while curbing environmental impact.

Dr. Vu Thang, Vice Head of the Fertilizer Management Division of PPD, welcomed the participants and outlined the course agenda, delving into topics on optimal fertilizer application, the significance of nutrients and soil health, and the introduction of new-age fertilizers and mechanized farming practices to enhance fertilizer efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions. He emphasized that the training is an opportunity for participants to learn some international best practices aimed at protecting the health of soil and plants and balancing the interests between humans and the environment.

This training brought together 43 participants from various sectors including provincial Departments of Crop Production and Plant Protection, farmer cooperatives, fertilizer companies, and extension centers from provinces like Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Hai Duong, Can Tho, Dong Thap, and Soc Trang, aiming to foster a holistic understanding of sustainable agricultural practices.

The instructional team encompassed experts from PPD, USDA agronomy specialists, and IRRI scientists, offering a diverse array of lectures ranging from the introduction of 4R approaches to site-specific nutrient management and the promotion of innovative and organic fertilizers as eco-friendly alternatives in rice production.

To complement classroom learning, the project arranged a field visit for participants to Green Farm Cooperative, enabling them to witness firsthand the implementation of strategies like rice straw circular economy practices, including composting, as practical solutions for reducing chemical usage and carbon footprint.


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