A workshop on developing low-carbon agricultural value chains and green growth has recently been held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
Earlier, stemming from the results of the Vietnam Sustainable Agriculture Transformation Project (VnSAT Project) implemented in the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands as well as the new requirements of Vietnam and the World Bank (WB), a discussion on the content and method to build the “Project for Developing Low Carbon Agriculture and Green Growth” had been held between WB and MARD on March 3.
With the launch of the project, Viet Nam aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9 million tons in the agricultural sector to ensure the Government's commitment at COP 26 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
According to Cao Thang Binh, a senior agricultural specialist of the WB, the demand for importing "green goods" as well as sustainable products from countries around the world tends to increase.
In such context, the Government of Vietnam has made strong commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, for example, the commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 at COP26; the commitment to transform the food system towards transparency, accountability, and sustainability, striving to become a global food power at the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit.
The National Strategy on Green Growth for the period 2021 - 2030, with a vision to 2050, and the Strategy for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in the 2021 - 2030 period with a vision to 2050 also set the goal of promoting eco-friendly, climate adaptative and low-carbon agriculture.
Currently, agriculture contributes 19% of total greenhouse gas emissions, aming which rice production accounts for about half of the greenhouse gas emissions and more than 70% of methane emissions. Lessons from the VnSAT project show that applying the "1 must 5 reductions" method in rice farming can increase yield by 5%, increase net profit by 28.6% and reduce about 8 tons of CO2e/ha/year.
Research on sustainable agricultural land use and livelihoods in the Mekong Delta shows that 12 to 23 tons of CO2e can be reduced by promoting smart agricultural production, climate-smart agriculture (CSA), and good agriculture practices (GAP), in addition to replacing inefficient rice land with smart farming systems adaptive to climate, reducing post-harvest losses and bettering straw management.
Speaking of the proposed project to reduce 9 million tons of greenhouse gases in Vietnam's agricultural sector, Binh said that the application of the "1 must 5 reductions" method on 600,000 hectares (70% of the remaining rice area in the main region) in the Mekong Delta will reduce about 3.2 million tons of CO2e per year.
At the same time, it is necessary to convert inefficient rice land to low carbon farming systems by converting 530,000 ha (70%) of inefficient rice land in the Mekong Delta to low carbon farming systems with half emissions, thereby reducing about 2.6 million tons of CO2e per year, he added.
He also stressed the importance of improved straw management, which is conducted by recycling 70% of straw in the Mekong Delta (70% of the 5 million tons of dry straw) for alternative use with less greenhouse gas emissions (about 50% compared to with combustion). The method would help to reduce 2.6 million tons of CO2e per year.
Harvest/postharvest losses could be reduced by cutting harvest/postharvest losses from 13% to 7%, which would reduce approximately 0.8 million tons of CO2e emission per year.
“The total potential amount of greenhouse gas reduction from this scale would be around 9 million tonnes. This could be done over the next 10 years. Operations will require investments in infrastructure and developing markets for new items. In return, people can expect a better level of income from high-value goods," said the senior agricultural specialist.
In concluding the workshop, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh expressed his pleasure when the MARD, the WB, and localities had a high consensus in the preparation and construction of the project. At the same time, the Deputy Minister hoped that the WB would continue to support resources and capital for the ministry and localities.
“This is an issue related to the environment and a common concern of the whole world. Vietnam is a country that is strongly committed and a pioneer in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We will choose activities and models that ensure the goal of improving production efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the condition of each locality", the leader of the MARD emphasized.
He also noted that the phases of consultation and preparation of project components play a very important role in the effectiveness and success of the project; therefore, they must be carefully reviewed and implemented. The rice production experience of the Mekong Delta people will be withdrawn to improve to a more synchronous and methodical level.
He asked the local Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development to report to the provincial leaders for review and inspection, and then confirmed the possibility of jointly participating in the project with the MARD.
The Deputy Minister also assigned the Department of International Cooperation to preside over, together with the Management Board of Agricultural Projects and units of the MARD, to establish a preparation team for the project, in close coordination with the WB.
In the coming time, the MARD will agree on the idea and content of the project before June 30, 2022.
The Management Board of Agricultural Projects shall develop and finalize the draft Project Proposal before November 15, 2022. Units in the Ministry will give comments and the Management Board of agricultural projects will edit and complete before December 15, 2022.
The MARD shall sign the document attached to the project proposal and send it to the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Finance prior to December 31, 2022. The Ministry of Planning and Investment shall submit the project proposal to the Prime Minister for approval before March 30, 2023.
Translated by Phuong Ha
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