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December 3, 2021, 5:48 am

New rice variety boosts Nam Dinh hopes

(15:09:50 PM 05/04/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Phan Thi Nhuan, a 37-year-old farmer, knows little about the term "climate change". However, what she knows for sure is that during the past three years, prolonged cold and rain killed 40 per cent of her winter-spring crop.


A farmer tends to rice seedlings. A new variety of rice is well adapted to cold weather. — VNS Photo Tien Hong
Thu Trang

This year, things are different. She started to use the CT16 rice variety, which is better adapted to cold weather and less susceptible to damage from insects.

"The rice's growing period lasted about 105 days, about 20 days shorter than other rice varieties, so it needed less effort to take care of," she said.

Nhuan harvested her first crop of the rice variety last month and felt that it was more fragrant and glutinous.

In previous years Nhuan, who is from Thi Tu Village, Giao Xuan Commune, in the northern province of Nam Dinh's Giao Thuy District, used various kinds of rice including T 10, Nang Xuan and CT 15 based on guidance from the commune co-operative.

However, these could not cope with prolonged cold weather and suffered damage from insects.

Providing local farmers with the CT16 rice variety and technological training is part of a project currently taking place in 11 coastal communes of Hai Phong, Nam Dinh and Thai Binh provinces. The project aims to raise awareness of climate change, reduce natural disaster risks and improve adaptive livelihoods for up to 21,000 coastal people.

Implemented by the Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD) and Oxfam, the project started in November last year and will end by the end of this year. Funding comes through the Community-based Climate Change Action Grants Program of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), which distributes funding through non-governmental organisations in Viet Nam.

Nguyen Thu Hue, MCD director, said that Nam Dinh was chosen as a beneficiary of the project because it was one of the places in Viet Nam most severely affected by climate change, with about 72 kilometers of coastline and relatively flat terrain dissected by a dense system of rivers and low-lying areas. Rising sea levels flooded approximately 62sq.m of arable land in the province's coastal districts.

Tran Thanh Quyet, deputy chairman of the commune, said that prolonged cold and rain together with flood-tides had infused the terrain with salt, which made it difficult to cultivate.

The previous rice varieties could not grow in salty soil, so their productivity was low, about 50-60kg per 360sq.m. With the CT 16 variety, the average productivity was 120kg per 360sq.m.

The project also gave technical support to other households in the district to raise pigs on padding made from rice husk and sawdust. This model saves electricity and water and produces cleaner pigs that grow faster, in addition to protecting the environment.

Doan Dinh Oanh, a farmer in the commune, previously used his pig droppings to feed fish, causing serious environmental pollution. He also had to wash the pigsty at least three times per day. But the new padding uses live microorganisms to treat the droppings, making this practice unnecessary.

Deputy chairman Quyet said that the commune had 1,200 breeding households raising 30,000 pigs and 1 million birds per year, so a great amount of pig and poultry droppings were discharged into the environment. This polluted water sources and caused local disorder as households accused each other of discharging the waste, he said.

"After receiving information and training, I decided to take a risk and apply the new model of pigsty as my neighbour and I were in constant disagreement due to the bad smell from our cages," said Oanh.

With the new model, Oanh's pigs grow faster and are healthier.

"Although the pigsties are close to my house, we do not experience any bad smell. We call the new sty model the ‘neighbourhood sty'," he said.

Vu Minh Hai, Oxfam Senior Technical Advisor, said that while the Vietnamese Government had a number of programmes addressing climate change, few of them were implemented on the community and grassroots levels.

"The residents did not participate in conferences and programmes during the planning period, so they could not voice their needs. As a result, they did not benefit from the programmes very much," she said.

Oxfam has run various projects to support the Government's programmes, paying the most attention to poor farmers, as they have the least ability to cope with difficulties in cultivation and meet many obstacles if they want to change their career to earn more income.

The Government should have more regulations, guidance and programmes for poor residents, especially vulnerable women, she said.

"Improving local residents' adaptation capacity is the best way to deal with climate change," said Hai.
Source: VNS

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