How to tackle climate impact of rice and fight farmer poverty
How to convince over 36 million small scale farmers to change their traditional way of producing rice? Meet Lan Thanh Ha, Head of Department of the Institute of Water Resources Planning in Vietnam. He joined the Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) course Climate Action for Food Systems Transformation.
Lan: “Since Vietnam committed to being carbon neutral by 2050, I have been assigned the task of reducing agriculture’s impact on climate change. A formidable challenge! Thankfully, the WCDI course introduced me to the innovative method SRI, which is not only more carbon friendly, but also generates up to a 40% bigger rice yield. Quite the incentive for farmers who were only just growing enough rice to survive on!
Additionally, I got familiar with the concept of rice-shrimp farming. Before owners of salinated rice paddies were convinced their land had been rendered useless. Instead, now the additional source of income from shrimping is lifting them from poverty.”
Climate change as an opportunity
The course has caused a shift in how Lan looks at resources: “Before I would perceive some of climate change’s impacts as purely threats. Now I see opportunities, that can even benefit farmers. I look forward to implementing these and other methods throughout Vietnam and being a driving force for change.”
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