16 June 2017

WB-funded agriculture project emphasizes on real-life effectiveness

Hanoi (VNA) – The World Bank-funded
project “Vietnam Sustainable Agriculture Transformation” (VnSAT) has quality
over quantity in farming since it started two years ago.

The project aims to improve farming
practices and value chains in rice and coffee farming in the Mekong Delta and
the Central Highlands, the two major good commercial production areas in
Vietnam and promote institutional strengthening of public agencies to help
implement the country’s agricultural restructuring plan.

After two years of implementation, the
project has established a complete organisational structure from central to
grassroots levels and carried out a range of tasks.

By May 2017, the VnSAT had assessed 75 farmer
organisations with a total of 2,785 households growing rice and 776 others
planting coffee that were provided with training on new cultivation techniques
– “three reductions, three gains (3R3G)” and “one must, five reductions (1M5R)”
a year ago.

3R3G refers to reductions in seed,
chemicals, and water and gains in productivity, quality, and economic
efficiency while 1M5R means using registered seeds and reductions in seed,
chemical fertiliser, pesticide, water use and post-harvest losses.

The results show that some 36 organisations,
or 48 percent, have more than 50 percent of their households or growing areas
using the practices.

The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, and
the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak and Lam Dong led the way with all of
their farmer organisations achieving positive results.

The majority of organisations in Mekong
Delta provinces have seen lower prevalence of the new techniques due to local
tradition of sowing by hand that did not allow peasants to effectively control
the number of seedlings planted on each hectare. As a result, the number was
usually above the project’s requirements.

In the Central Highlands, most organisations
have not met criteria in terms of shade tree, organic fertiliser and production
recording.

The VnSAT also evaluated the capability of
the organisations to measure their needs of investment in warehouses, drying
yards, pumping stations and roads.

The workshop to review the implementation of
the project during the first half of 2017 proposed the organisations buy sowing
machines and teach farmers how to use them effectively.

Sergiy Zorgya, a senior agricultural
economist from the World Bank, said to effectively carry out the project, it is
necessary to learn from the real demand of farmers to design effective support
for them. -VNA



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