Operationalizing Targets of the Government of Vietnam’s Policy Agenda for Agricultural Mitigation: Roadmap, Implementation, Institutions and Costs

Vietnam’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are relatively low in the global context, but they are growing rapidly and will likely triple by 2030 unless significant mitigation options are undertaken.  With over 60 percent of the population in Vietnam active in the agricultural sector, there is significant mitigation potential through improved agricultural practices.   Emissions reductions could be a source of millions of dollars a year of income for farmers in the country, which could be used to adapt to the adverse consequences of climate change.

The workshop “Operationalizing Targets of the Government of Vietnam’s Policy Agenda for Agricultural Mitigation: Roadmap, Implementation, Institutions and Costs,” held today and organized by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)-International Fund for Agricultural Development Partnership Program, will address challenges in agricultural mitigation, potential mitigation options, government policy, and the way forward for implementing potential mitigation options in the country.

“There is significant potential for climate mitigation in Vietnam, but careful assessment regarding yield, production, and environmental aspects is needed,” said Claudia Ringler, IFPRI senior research fellow.

A recent study by IFPRI, the Centre for Agrarian Systems Research and Development, the Institute for Agricultural Environment and DNDC Application, Research and Training, assessed emissions from the production of key food crops in Vietnam and evaluated the potential of alternative mitigation options in agriculture.  The mitigation potential in Vietnam is largest with rice and in the rural areas that are home to most of the poor people in the country.  The study analyzed alternative management practices for paddy rice— the main staple crop harvested annually on approximately 7 million hectares—which was shown to be the key to pro-poor agricultural mitigation. Alternative wet and drying and dry seeding appear to achieve largest mitigation and economic benefits for rice and increased nutrient use efficiency is critical for increased profitability and mitigation of other food crops.

As Vietnam is a country based heavily in agriculture and with many of the poorest people living in rural areas, linking poor farmers to voluntary carbon markets could provide significant economic benefits from implementing activities that reduce GHG emissions.

“One of the challenges of carbon market entry for developing countries are the small size of farms and the lack of institutions that can organize these farmers and include them in carbon markets,” said Dao The Anh, Director of CASRAD. “In Vietnam, farm sizes are small, but rural organizations are very strong and can facilitate organizing farmers and developing projects.”

The Vietnam government has affirmed its commitment to reducing agricultural emissions while enhancing economic growth and reducing poverty by signing Decision 3119/QD-BNN-KHCH in December of 2011.  This confirms the country’s commitment to increase agricultural production by 20% and reduce emissions and poverty by 20% by 2020.

“IFAD is committed to supporting poverty reduction in Vietnam, which will require an increased focus on building capacity in the provinces and districts to help farmers adapt to and mitigate adverse impacts from climate change,” confirms Atsuko Toda, IFAD country manager, Vietnam.

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