Vietnam is a country that thrives on agriculture with a GDP contribution of 14.85% in Agriculture in 2020. The agricultural sector in Vietnam includes crop production, livestock, fisheries, and forestry. Vietnam's main Agricultural products are rice, pepper, tea, coffee beans, cotton, peanuts, sugarcane, etc. The country has a 12-month growing season and two or three harvests in a single year. In 2020, the production volume of a spring rice paddy in Vietnam is 19.88 million metric tons, that of autumn rice paddy is 10.74 million metric tons and that of fresh tea is 1.04 million metric tons. In Vietnam, the share of Agricultural land is 39.52%, that of cropland is 37.48% and that of forest land is 46.48%. In 2019, the Agricultural Sector employs 18.8 million Vietnamese people over a total population of 97.41 million. According to 2016 data, Agriculture contributes 28% of household income of the whole nation, 42% of household income of ethnic minorities, 52% of household income of central highland and 36% of household income of Mekong Delta.

The Mekong Delta, critically important to Vietnam's national agricultural production, has high impacts on rice by soil degradation, water and air pollution, water scarcity and salinization and Greenhouse Gas emissions. It also has high impacts on shrimp by water and air pollution and deforestation biodiversity and on catfish by water and air pollution.

The Government of Vietnam introduced the Agricultural Restructuring Program (ARP) in 2013 aiming to promote the transition from quantity-oriented production to demand-driven and high value-added agribusiness at low environmental cost "gain more from less'. In 2018, the government released their National Adaptation Plan (NAP) (2020 – 2030), supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and developed with support from the NAP-Ag, which aims to mainstream adaptation in the agricultural sectors' planning processes. The Asian Development Bank also approved to help finance the right modernized irrigation systems in five drought-affected areas in Vietnam. The upgraded irrigation system will bring water on demand which will help improve agricultural productivity and give access to grow high-end crops such as dragon fruit, grapes and mango.

Farmers themselves also develop their ways to gain economic value but to use fewer resources for the Agricultural Sector. Water buffalo, instead of machines, is still used on many farms today in Vietnam, which reduces air pollution. Farmers use dikes, which are similar to dams, to control the rivers. This lets the farmers control more or less water in necessary areas so that the crops can get enough water and grow properly. Some farmers gather wild plants by the rivers and in forests to cultivate seeds. This can increase crop revenue from the rare wild plants and it also brings diversity to agriculture. Farmers created a new way to prevent pests from destroying the rice plants by using an electric device to find them instead of pesticides. If rice crops are immediately planted after infestation, the plants will grow stronger and build resistance to the pests.

There is another way to produce revenue from the Agricultural Sector. This is to convert agricultural waste to energy that can provide electricity in rural areas. On average 1.5 tons of crop residue are generated for processing 1 ton of the main product. The conversion process can generate heat and power to use as a transport fuel. Residues from some crops such as Rice Husks, Wheat Straw and Maize Cobs can be utilized on-site to provide combined heat and power. In this way, not only more GDP can contribute to the nation from the Agricultural Sector but also it will be a good example of efficient resource use to other sectors.


References

Agriculture and Fishing | Open Development Vietnam (opendevelopmentmekong.net)

Agriculture in Vietnam: On the Road to Development - The Borgen Project

Agriculture in Vietnam - statistics & facts | Statista

Viet Nam | Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (fao.org)

Energy Value of Agricultural Wastes | BioEnergy Consult


 By KHANT SWE HTETa final year student at Yangon Technological University