RCE Southern Vietnam - 2018

Promotion of organic farming in Southern Vietnam
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Promotion of organic farming in Southern Vietnam
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Southern Vietnam
Contributing organization(s) : 
USM, UTM Malaysia
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Pham Thi Hoa
Organizational Affiliation: 
International University
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Thi project link with SDG 12, 13, 15
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Thi project link with SDG 12, 13, 15
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Ho Chi Minh City
Address of focal point institution for project: 
International University, Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The Mekong River Delta is the downstream of the Mekong River basin before flowing into the East Sea. The area is approximately 39,734 km2, occupying more than 4% of the total area of the Mekong River Basin. The Mekong River Vietnam reaches 225 km in length, accounting for only 5.17% of the total length of the river. The terrain of the Mekong Delta is relatively low and flat with an average slope of 1 cm / km, with low lying areas such as Dong Thap Muoi, Long Xuyen Quadrangle, Ha Tien and some low lying areas in U Minh; There are two sides of the sea more than 600 km long, affected by both types of tides in the East Sea (semi-uneven tide) and West Sea (uneven tide). This feature creates a complex hydrological regime, seasonal and tidal flow distributions, as well as water quality disturbances.

The Mekong Delta lies in the monsoonal Asian region, with only two seasons each year, the dry and rainy season. Rainy season usually lasts from May to October, dry season often lasts for the rest of the year. Each year, the whole region receives a rainfall of about 1,600 - 2,200 mm. From the middle to the end of the rainy season, the western and northern parts of the Mekong River delta flooded from the Mekong River. An estimated 1.2 to 1.9 million hectares were flooded, mainly in the Quaternary area, including Long Xuyen, Dong Thap Muoi and the middle of Tien River - Hau River. The Mekong Delta has more than 2.4 million hectares of agricultural land and 700,000 hectares of aquaculture, providing over 50 percent of its rice production and 65 percent of its freshwater and brackish water production and around 75 percent. % of fruit for the whole country; annually, contributing an average of 27% of gross domestic product (GDP).

The Mekong Delta is home to over 18 million people, mostly live along the banks of rivers, canals and canals. The population growth rate is estimated at 2.3%, both natural and mechanical. More than 70% of the population lives in rural and suburban areas, and their livelihoods depend heavily on weather and natural water. In the recent years, saline intrusion from the sea has become deeper, affecting more than 50% of the cultivated area, especially in the dry season. In addition, the problem of acid sulphate soil, which accounts for about 1.6 million hectares, has always been a challenge for the region's agriculture. The rapid population growth, the majority of people in the poor group, the life depends on nature, has been a great challenge for the sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The Mekong Delta is the leading area leading in Vietnam in terms of rice, fruit and seafood production, contributes significantly to national food security. However, with the conventional farming method, in association with several challenges of socio-economic development, the impact of climate change, and the other external factors require a new vision for moving forward to ensure sustainability for agricultural development in the Mekong Delta
Currently in Mekong Delta the main cultivation method is conventional farming, while organic farming is still small and scattered. Due to conventional farming practice, agriculture has been facing with a lot of problem, such as the strong dependence on synthetic fertilizer and pesticide/insecticide, the reduction of net income due to the intensive use of natural resources, and poor farming practices, and severe environmental pollution. These problems create not only the problem to farmers who are directly suffered from the chemical used, but also affect customer who must buy the contaminated products.

There has been no official support policy for organic agriculture in Vietnam before 2018, while the new organic agriculture policy is still not completed until now. The organic businesses must raise their own funds, self-manage to imply their farming method and product output while facing with a lot of difficulties in the resources and environment.

Many farmers and company in Vietnam still hesitate to invest in organic farming due to the following problems:
1. The cost for international organic certification is too high for many farmers in Vietnam without proper support
2. Local organic certification is currently not available,
3. Lacking of knowledge for growing organically which make low productivity of organic farming and make farmers reluctant to shift to organic farming.
February, 2016 to February, 2019
RCE Southern Vietnam aims to support the community in sustainable development. Especially in Vietnam, agriculture plays the leading role in the country’s economy, so the sustainable development of agriculture also play an important role for the whole country. However, the current agricultural development in Vietnam mainly focus on raising quantity but not quality, resulting in unsustainable agricultural production, causing environmental pollution and affecting social security. The development of organic agriculture on a large scale is an important solution for the sustainable development of agriculture. However, the development of organic agriculture today is too small, and encountered many obstacles. Therefore, there is a need for programs to assess the current state of agricultural production and the opportunities and challenges for developing organic agriculture in order to find suitable models for the development of organic agriculture in Vietnam.
With the rationale stated above, the REC Southern Vietnam conducted this program entitled “Promoting for organic agriculture in Southern Vietnam”. The preprogram aims at helping farmers develop their own organic farming methods that can adapt to the local regions with profitable productivity. This program comprise of the following objectives:
- Evaluating the situation of local agriculture
- Finding the suitable effective farming method and expanding the model for organic cultivation
- Finding suitable solution to solve the difficulties which organic farmers are facing
- Transferring and training the model for farmers and local government agencies
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Please see 'Pictures' section for image of the project’s framework of activities and the corporation organizations
Size of academic audience: 
The project aim to increase the interest of agriculture investors and farmers to focus more on organic agriculture direction. The changing into organic farming is an environmentally friendly way of agriculture and contributing to the restoring, maintaining and reserving the natural ecosystems of Vietnam.We have researched and transferred method to enhance the soil fertilities (from 2016 to2017) improving a water treatment system for water re-circulation in farms (from 2016-2018), and currently studying the nutrient budget to propose a suitable integrated model (from 2018 to 2019).The project achievement will provide necessary information for local farmers and government agencies to develop their plans and policy to develop the organic agriculture of the province. The farmers can use the model built from this project to help them perform organic agriculture with higher & sustainable benefits, in turn contributing to the environment protection and sustainable development.
Lessons learned: 
The lessons learned from this program is that the change need to originated from the real need of society. Participatory approach is the good tool to collect information and guide for appropriate solutions. From the findings about the current situation of organic farming in Mekong Delta, our group is connecting with the groups major in organic agriculture for organic farming promotion. This project combines the ideas, points of view and experiences from experts, corporations and farmers to solve the problems and proposing adaptive methods for sustainable organic farming. In specific, the knowledge and experience of local conditions from the experienced farmers, the understanding in the agriculture market and product distribution, together with academic and scientific researchers are integrated into a sustainable organic farming model.
Key messages: 
Short-term quantity raised without the appropriate path will lead to a collapse future
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
This program got the collaboration of RCE Penang Malaysia, USM, UTM in Malaysia, and collaboration of several agricultural related agencies in provinces in Southern Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Long An, Ca Mau)
This program was funded by International University, Vietnam National University


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Picture1.png (1.31 MB) Agro-forestry organic farming in Ca Mau Province, Vietnam Pham Thi Hoa
Image icon Picture2.png (1.55 MB) Organic fish pond at Vien Phu Company, Ca Mau Pham Thi Hoa
Image icon Picture4.png (1.86 MB) High-tech green house for vegetable and Lemon farm accredited by Global Gap Pham Thi Hoa
Image icon projectframework.jpg (22.52 KB) The project’s framework of activities and the corporation organizations
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level