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Experience and implement models for mitigating and adapting to climate change

People in Thuan Chau district in general and four communes: Muoi Noi, Bon Phang, Chieng Pha, and Nam Lau, in particular, are facing a series of adverse weather conditions, from severe cold, frost, floods, landslides to droughts, hot weather and water shortages. This situation is becoming more and more common in recent years, affecting their farming, livestock, and livelihood activities.

Agroforestry farming that adapts to the negative impacts of climate change has always been a top priority of the Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) in its efforts, together with the people and stakeholders, to find specific solutions to the above problems.

The project "Mitigating and adapting to climate change in the agricultural and forestry sector of the Northwestern Highlands" funded by Bread for the World (Germany), has been implemented by the SRD since May 1, 2021, with several practical activities. From February 26 to March 1, 2022, SRD has cooperated with partners in Son La province and Thuan Chau district to organize four cross-site visits to agricultural models, agroforestry, and water resources management in four communes: Muoi Noi, Chieng Pha, Bon Phang, and Phong Lai.

This visit has attracted 138 people (71 women and 67 men), including the management board of 16 villages in 4 project communes, leaders of 4 project communes, representatives of the Agriculture Department of Thuan Chau district, Ranger County of Thuan Chau district, staff of Sub-Department of Plant Protection and Conservation of Son La province. Specific models were visited, experienced, and exchanged in 4 communes, including the coffee farming and agroforestry model; integrated breeding model (chicken, pig, cow, goat); model of water management and forest management; village saving groups (VSLA) model.

According to the feedback of the delegators, all the models have had positive results, especially the domestic water management model in Nga Phat village, Chieng Pha commune; Saving groups model in Bon village, Bon Phang commune; Coffee mixed with plums intercropping model in Dong Hung village, Muoi Noi commune and coffee/agroforestry model in Phong Lai commune. One common point of all successful models is that they have been receiving the consensus and participation of all members, villages as well as families.

More specifically, at the domestic water management model in Nga Phat village, all members are interested and want to learn about water regulation methods for 230 households. The village's regulating and managing water system is very reasonable and scientific. It was designed by the village's chief and the water management team, including a water distribution tank of about 5m2 with 27 water pipes flowing to 27 groups of households (each group has from 5 to 10 families). Each group is provided with the same amount of water which is managed by the locks at the end of each pipe. This method of water management and regulation has been implemented since 2017 and is highly appreciated by all households in the village due to its sufficient supply for every family, even in the dry season.

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Model of water management and regulation in Nga Phat village - Chieng Pha commune.

The next model that members highly appreciate is the sustainable coffee farming and agroforestry models. The members have learned the techniques that can be easily applied at home: intercrop/add some multi-purpose species that can both provide shade and fruit, seeds or wood in the coffee fields. They also have the idea to plant more grass in the upland areas or on the field dividers to have more food for livestock while being able to protect the soil and reduce erosion in the rainy season. Sustainable coffee farming techniques, adapting to climate change such as replacing chemical fertilizers with composted manure and organic manure, annual pruning within the project's guidelines are also supported. People in the communes responded enthusiastically and pledged to maintain the activities in the coming years.

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Sustainable coffee and plums intercropping and agroforestry models.

Integrated livestock is also a model that attracts many visiting delegation members. This model not only helps households improve their income but also improves food demand while increasing the amount of organic fertilizer for crops. They have learned that using indigenous breeds can increase resistance to diseases and extreme weather, along with the ability to take advantage of the available food source in the area such as cassava, corn, banana stalks, grass,...

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Integrated breeding models

While applying the village savings group (VSLA) model, many participants have gained numerous benefits. The highlight is the solidarity between the members, actively using small capital to support each other every month, especially for members with difficult family circumstances. Members in other villages that do not have VSLA groups such as Phang, Noong O of Bon Phang commune, Sang Sang, Muoi Noi of Muoi Noi commune were very interested and committed to discussing with their families about partaking this model in 2022.


Village savings group (VSLA) model

In conclusion, the experiences learned from the visit will certainly be continued, implemented, and replicated in 2022, 2023 by all the members, People's Committees of 4 communes, SRD, and project stakeholders, to support people for a better and more proactive adaptation to the negative impacts of climate change.


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