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. 

A new technique machine piloted in Can Tho city. Photo: VnSAT Project

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

By May 2017, the VnSAT had assessed 75 farmer organizations 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 fertilizer, pesticide, water use and post-harvest losses. 

The results show that some 36 organizations, 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 organizations achieving positive results. 

The majority of organizations 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 organizations have not met criteria in terms of shade tree, organic fertilizer and production recording. 

The VnSAT also evaluated the capability of the organizations 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 organizations 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.

Source: VNA