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Oct 15, 2021 / 17:45

US$30 million climate change adaptation project launched in Vietnam

The project, funded by the Green Climate Fund, aims to strengthen the resilience of smallholder agriculture to climate change-hit water insecurity areas.

More than 500,000 people in Vietnam’s Central Highlands and South-Central Coastal regionals will directly benefit from a project worth US$30 million financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) on climate change adaptation.  

 Representatives of UNDP, MARD, and five target provinces Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan. Photos: UNDP

About 50% of the beneficiaries are women who will be subject to the project which is designed to empower vulnerable smallholders, particularly women and ethnic minority farmers in climate change-induced water insecurity provinces namely Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan.

The “Strengthening the Resilience of Smallholder Agriculture to Climate Change-induced Water Insecurity in the Central Highlands and South-Central Coast Regions of Vietnam” project will last from 2021 to 2026.

Launched on Oct 15 by the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the project’s message is to manage increasing climate risks to agricultural production by securing water availability, adopting climate-resilient agricultural practices, and strengthening access to actionable agro-climate information, credits, and markets.

To address water insecurity, the project will support smallholder farmers, whose income does not permit investment in climate resilience-enhancing inputs, technologies, or infrastructure to cope effectively with the impacts of droughts.

It aims to directly address the need for investments in last-mile connections to the larger irrigation infrastructure invested by the Government with the finance from Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Similarly, farmers in rain-fed areas will benefit from the upgrading and construction of 1,159 climate-resilient ponds.

They will be provided with training on how to manage climate risk to their agroecosystems by applying climate-resilient soil and crop planning and management practices to reinforce the investments in water security.

They will get technical guidance and financial support on climate-smart- and -resilient agriculture practices to improve production and increase yields.

In addition, farmers will be engaged in the co-development of localized agro-climate information in the form of advisories, through which they will be able to synthesize traditional knowledge with contemporary scientific information to manage risk at the local level.

The project will enable farmers to address production problems and bottlenecks, access to credit, negotiate contractual arrangements, and smooth access to existing markets through promotion of value chain partnerships, comprised of all relevant stakeholders, including producers, input suppliers, technical assistance providers, buyers, and others.

Nguyen Hoang Hiep, deputy minister of MARD, said the project reflects strong commitment and efforts of the Government of Vietnam to support vulnerable communities, ethnic minorities groups, the poor farmers, women, and men to be resilient to increasing climate change impacts in the new situation with uncertainty from pandemic.

"The project’s kick-off will consider contingency solutions for responding to Covid and effectively implement the established activities,” said Hiep.

Vietnam is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events. The Central Highlands and South Central Coast regions are expected to experience wetter wet seasons and drier dry seasons with an increased risk of severe droughts.

This is putting extra pressure on farmers who face reduced crop productivity, which in turn is impacting livelihoods, food security, and incomes that are already been very impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Terence D. Jones, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Vietnam. 

According to Terence D. Jones, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Vietnam, it is important to build resilience and to apply innovative and climate-resilient tools and practices to support poor and near-poor farmers in these two regions adapt to increasingly severe droughts, exacerbated by climate change.

He said this project complements the ongoing GCF project that UNDP supports in 28 coastal provinces for building the resilience of poor communities vulnerable to floods and storms, bringing together these innovative and integrated approaches will ensure to improve the resilience of more than a million most vulnerable people in Vietnam.