Rice cultivation following the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method will help limit to minimum the impacts of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost the development of modern and sustainable agriculture, a workshop has heard.
The workshop held recently by the central Vietnam Farmers’ Association has kicked off a project on increasing farmers’ awareness and encourage them to apply environmental-friendly rice growing methods in Vietnam.
Mr. Mai Bac My, Head of the association's External Relations and International Co-operation Commission said that the project was aimed to improve SRI cultivation techniques for rice farmers and their organizations.
From then on, according to My who is also the project's manager, the project was targeted to raise awareness among farmers, consumers, and other stakeholders about the benefits of SRI thus enhance the value of rice cultivated under this method.
The project which will last for 40 months, is implemented in three phases, of which the first phase was carried out from March 2020 to June 2021 and the second and third will take place from July 7, 2021 to June, 2023.
The first phase was implemented in the northern provinces of Lai Chau, Bac Kan, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Hung Yen, Hoa Binh, Thai Binh and Ninh Binh while the second and third will be carried out in central and southern provinces.
To mobilize farmers to apply SRI methods in their fields, the project will organize many activities, notably focusing on researching and training.
Besides, there are also research tours and consultation to support the farmers, followed by promotion and supportive programs for increasing their awareness of the SRI.
Finally, the project will set up plans promoting for the brand of SRI rice to access the markets.
To boost the implementation of the project, relevant agencies have carried out a survey on SRI and environmental-friendly rice cultivation techniques in 7 rice growing regions: Hoa Binh, Bac Giang, Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Binh Dinh and Tien Giang.
The survey conducted from July - October 2020, was targeting three major groups of farmers, agricultural officers and consumers via interviews with multiple choice questions.
According to the project's consultant, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Hong, the survey results showed issues that farmers were concerned are about health, environment and finance, respectively.
Meanwhile, he said, in rice cultivation, farmers were most concerned about the technical issues including the rice varieties, ways of transplanting, fertilizing weeding, pest managing and harvesting.
"Many farmers said that they were facing with obstacles mostly in transplanting young seedlings then weeding by machine and regulating water sources while practicing the SRI rice cultivation method," Hong revealed.
Even though, the survey showed great prospects for the widespread application of SRI methods, he said.
More than 80% of farmers participating in the survey specifically had intended to practice the environmental-friendly farming practices and pp to 92.4% of them find it necessary to apply SRI in their fields.
In addition, over 85% of agricultural promotion officials confirmed that most farmers were interested in SRI and over 83% of them really want to learn and train about SRI. Even up to 75% of farmers participating in the survey confirmed they were confident in applying SRI to rice cultivation.
Author: Tung Dinh. Translated by Linh Nguyen. Edited by Duc Huy.
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