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STORY OF MR. TONG VAN CUONG

Project: Agro-biodiversity conservation and development for poor communities in response to climate change, Son La Province.
Ultimate goal: Food security for ethnic minority groups in upland areas in Son La province will be ensured.         
Donors: Bread for the World and Manos Unidas.


“I have learned a lot from the project. Thanks to the training sessions, now I can grow rice with less input such as fertilizer, which can help me increase my income. Besides that, I realized the effect of growing rice on climate change.”


Son La has a significant percentage of poor communities relying on agriculture, a sector that is continuously being threatened by climate change impacts. While these current conditions are already impacting agricultural production, they are likely to worsen through the expected 1-2 degrees Celsius increase in Vietnam’s average temperature, and the 180% increase in heat waves. From the current extreme and unpredictable weather events, SRD’s project participant, Mr. Cuong, has experienced the effects between climate change and his rice production.
Mr. Cuong rice production has continuously been impacted by an increase in sunny days, and a decrease in precipitation. While he could previously predict seasonal weathers, he now finds that the climate patterns are quickly changing. In addition to the climate change impacts, Mr. Cuong was also struggling to find an effective method to cultivate his rice efficiently. While using his traditional methods, many of his crops were getting diseases, and he also had to spend his income to purchase pesticides.

Nevertheless, in 2017, he decided to join SRD’s Climate Smart Rice (CSR) initiative, for the project “Agro-biodiversity conservation and development for poor communities in response to climate change”. CSR has been widely introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Food and Agriculture Organization, Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security program, and various NGOs. It is an approach that has improved climate change resilient agriculture in order to support development and food security. SRD’s trainings focus on sharing these CSR methods to help farmers reduce their use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and ineffective use of seed and water, while responding to climate change and improving the rice productivity and quality.

“I have participated in the project activities since 2017 and I am really keen on the project because it brings me many benefits. Firstly, it provides me with many techniques of growing rice which help me grow rice more effectively. Secondly, it helps increase rice productivity thanks to growing rice appropriately. Thirdly, it helps increase income, which enables my family and I to have a more stable life”
Through his participation, Mr. Cuong has evidently been able address the numerous factors impacting his agriculture, while further supporting his family with his increase in income. He has also implemented agricultural methods that are not only adapting to climate change, but mitigating it.
“I realized the effect of growing rice on climate change. That is why I have tried to reduce the amount of fertilizer, or pesticide on rice field. I see myself as a factor who can contribute to emission reduction, to not make the climate worse...which contributes to protecting the environment, and I am really proud of that”
Climate change resilience is necessary for sustainable rural development and agricultural production. Mr. Cuong has been able to use the CSR innovation to advance his skills, further support his family, all while protecting the environment. He hopes that SRD’s project will continue to develop, so that other local people can increase their knowledge through the trainings, and ultimately improve their livelihoods.

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          Mr. Cuong’s in front of his rice field. He shared some of his challenges from climate change impacts, and his methods for rice production

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                                                                                 The incredible view from Mr. Cuong’s field 

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                                           The quickly changing climate patterns are having significant effects on rice production.

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