New climate change adaptation project launched

16th October 2021 Vietnam Investment Review Source The United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), and the five provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan have launched a Green Climate Fund to finance a $30 million climate change adaptation project to strengthen the resilience of smallholder agriculture to climate change-induced water insecurity.

More than 500,000 people, more than 50 per cent of whom are women, will benefit directly and indirectly from this project.

The project is designed to empower vulnerable smallholders in the target provinces – particularly women and ethnic minority farmers – 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 impact of droughts, to directly address the need for investments in last-mile connections to the larger irrigation infrastructure invested by the government with financing from the Asian Development Bank. Similarly, farmers in rain-fed areas will benefit from the upgrading and construction of 1,159 climate-resilient ponds.

Farmers will be provided with training on how to manage climate risk to their agro-ecosystems by applying climate-resilient soil and crop planning and management practices to reinforce investments in water security. They will also be provided with technical guidance and financial support on climate smart- and resilient agriculture practices to improve production and increase yields.

Farmers will be engaged in the co-development of localised agro-climate information in the form of advisories, through which they will be able to synthesise 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 the promotion of value chain partnerships, comprised of all relevant stakeholders, including producers, input suppliers, technical assistance providers, buyers, and others.

"The project reflects the strong commitment and efforts of the government of Vietnam to support vulnerable communities, ethnic minority groups, poor farmers, women, and men to be resilient to increasing climate change impacts in the new situation. The project's kick-off will consider contingency solutions for responding to COVID-19 and effectively implement the established activities," said MARD Deputy Minister Nguyen Hoang 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 have already been very impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"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. This project complements the ongoing GCF project that the 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," said Terence D. Jones, UNDP resident representative a.i. in Vietnam.

Led by the MARD and implemented by the five provinces of Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Dak Lak, and Dak Nong, the "Strengthening the Resilience of Smallholder Agriculture to Climate change-induced Water Insecurity in the Central Highlands South-Central Coast Regions of Vietnam" project will be implemented over the period of 2021-2026.  / By Thanh Tung 
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