Vietnam, located in the Greater Mekong Subregion in Southeast Asia, has a total area of about 330,000 square km, including 10,126,100 ha used for agriculture. Vietnam has 63 provinces/cities and a population of about 87,840,000, of which 70% live in the rural areas and are involved in agriculture production. Agriculture is an important economic sector of Vietnam.


Implementing Partner

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)

 

  Past Activities

The main principles and approaches used in SRI in Vietnam

The five basic principles of SRI utilization in Vietnam include:

The five basic principles of SRI (Ngô, 2011) could be adopted fully or partially depending on local conditions and experiences. In the first crop season one could apply some SRI principles (partial SRI adoption) and then apply all SRI principles in next crop seasons (full SRI adoption).

Partial SRI adoption could start with simple and easy principles that are suitable to conditions of the soil, crop season and varieties that could bring more yields. For example, planting one or two seedlings per hill without changing the space between hills; using seedling at less than 4-leaf stage, minimizing root damage while uprooting seedlings from the seedbed and transplanting the same immediately. In the main field, only one plant per hill at desired spacing should be planted in the intersection of the grid made by pulling a rake over the soil. Transplanting is done by pushing the roots into the soil sideways at a shallow depth (1-2 cm) for bountiful root growth. IPM (improved) practices for fertilization, irrigation and pest management are followed. In rainfed production systems, the application of intermittent irrigation will be a challenge. However, the other 4 principles applied in irrigated systems can easily be adopted.

The general approach and steps in dissemination of SRI practices and human resource development follow:

  • Organize Training of Trainers for IPM Trainers and Farmer Field School for farmers;
  • Farmers conduct small field studies to practice and learn SRI principles, draw experiences on best local-fit practices of spacing, varieties, fertilizing, etc.;
  • Conduct expanded model of SRI adoption on small and medium area (i.e., from 2 to 5 hectares);
  • Apply SRI on large scale, i.e., on 10 hectares or more.

In Viet Nam, SRI adoption starts by training and developing Key Farmers who have deep understanding about SRI principles, capacity and willingness to modify/practice innovations, can define most appropriate technologies/skills to fit local conditions, and willingness to assist other farmers apply SRI.

Development, adoption and policy initiatives

The practices of rice cultivation on the plain, hilly and mountainous areas in northern Viet Nam are characterized by over application of nitrogenous chemical fertilizers and high transplanting density. These practices lead to reduced resistance to diseases as conditions make it more favorable for crops to become more easily infected and in turn brings reduced yields and economic returns. Over-application of chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides in rice production also contaminates the environment. SRI, perceived to be able to address the situation above-mentioned, was first introduced in Vietnam in the provinces of Hoa Binh, Ha Noi and Quang Nam in 2003 and 2004 by the National IPM Programme and PPD.

In 2004, PPD developed and disseminated Technical Guidelines for SRI Adoption for different rice cultivation conditions. In 2005 - 2006, with assistance from the IPM Component of the Danida-funded Agriculture Sector Support Program (ASPS), SRI was tested on larger areas of 2-5 ha per model in irrigated rice production systems in 12 provinces1. Results of activities during 2004-2005 showed that application of SRI practices brings higher efficiency compared with current conventional rice production practices: reduction of 70-90 % in seeds, reduction of 20-25 % in nitrogenous chemical fertilizer, increase in rice yield at an average of 9-15%. SRI adoption has improved the micro climate in the field and prevented the development of plant diseases such as sheath blight and bacterial leaf blight and pests including brown plant hoppers and golden apple snails. It also improves resistance to diseases as the practices develop healthier plants. Profits from full SRI adoption have been reported to bring increases by VND 2 million per hectare per crop, among others brought about by reduction in costs of seeds from VND520 to VND342 and a reduction in costs for irrigation by one third.

SRI adoption has improved rice health and plants are better able to cope with extreme weather events related to climate change. Rice plants develop better and deeper roots and stronger tillers that can survive strong winds or drought. Water usage in SRI fields is 30% less than fields employing current farmers’ practices. The reduction in water for irrigation is important in view of increasing scarcity of water resources.

In 2007, OXFAM America supported Viet Nam develop the Community-based SRI model successfully on 170 hectares in Dai Nghia commune, My Duc district, Ha Tay (now Ha Noi) province (Vietnam National IPM Programme, 2007). The results provided important evidence on the basis of which MARD issued decision No.3062/QD-BNN-KHCN on 15 October 2007 that officially announced SRI as technical advancement at national level. Lessons learned from the implementation of the Community-based SRI model were consolidated to prepare the document on “Practical Guidelines for SRI Field Adoption”. This document is useful for helping communities follow SRI practices, in SRI TOT and SRI Key Farmers training.

To enhance sustainability of SRI adoption in Viet Nam, OXFAM America has also supported initiatives such as “The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) ‐ Advancing small rice farmers in Mekong region” in 2007 and the programme “Farmer‐Led Agricultural Innovation for Resilience (FLAIR) from 2010 – 2022. FLAIR aims at making the agricultural extension system more responsive to small-holder farmers' concerns and constraints by utilizing and expanding the adaptive capacity of farmers. In 2011, under this programme, OXFAM America introduced the model on Community Capacity Building for Agricultural Innovation where SRI is viewed as a farmer-led innovation to increase resilience to climatic and economic shocks.

By 2012, over a million farmers (69% women) in 22 provinces2 had applied SRI on 292,449 hectares. Viet Nam has received assistance from other programmes, international projects, different national and international NGOs and research agencies on SRI promotion. These include:

  • FAO Regional IPM Programme
  • Danida: IPM component of Agriculture Sector Support Program (ASPS)
  • Oxfam America, Quebec, Belgium
  • SEARICE through its Biodiversity, Use and Conservation in Asia Program (BUCAP)
  • Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)
  • Thai Nguyen University
  • Agriculture University of Ha Noi
  • German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)
  • Sustainable Rural Development (SRD)
  • Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC)
  • World Vision
  • Initiatives on Community Empowerment and Rural Development (ICERD)

With the good results of SRI activities supported by these organizations, on 14 November 2012, the Plant Protection Department (MARD) received the "Vietnam Golden Rice Panicle" award from the Vietnam Government.



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Country Staffs

Mr. Tran Van Hieu
PMU/ Country Coordinator
FAO IPM Office, Room 505, A1
Van Phuc, Ha Noi, Vietnam
Phone:(84-4) 38236828
Email: Hieu.TranVan@fao.org
Mr. Nguyen Tuan Loc
National Training Expert
Northern Central Regional Plant Protection Center
Vinh City, Nghe An, Vietnam
Phone:(84) 9471 61369
Email:loctuannguyen1964@gmail.com