Helping farmers adapt to climate change

Posted at: WEDnesday - 26/11/2014 15:14 - post name: Cộng tác viên

Helping farmers adapt to climate change

Since it was founded (3/2006) so far, through the projects, the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) has organized numerous activities to support poor people to help them adapt to the changing environmental conditions and sustainable livelihood management, especially adapt to climate change.

The center implemented in collaboration with the Field Crops Research Institute and the Department of Plant Protection on the project "Putting theory into practice: Extension of biodiversity management scale of the people on food security" which was funded by Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment of the Philippines (SEARICE). To implement this project, SRD and its partners have helped farmers in rural eastern coastal areas of Dong Tan, Tan Da Loc commune, Hau Loc district, Thanh Hoa province select the rice breeding which is adapted to soil salinity. Farmers were trained skills in conservation and selection of rice breeding in accordance with the method of "learning by doing". The students have been introduced and guided practice techniques for breeding such as recovery, selection of the separation line, comparison and application of the intensive farming method of Rice Intensification Improvements (SRI). Students actively participated in the elaboration of the testing organization to research, monitor and measure the impact on the field for more than 3 months. Over three seasons, evaluating some of the salinity resistant rice provided by the Field Crops Research Institute such as M2, M4, M11 and M12 compared to the rice which are widely grown locally, farmers have selected the M2 with potential skills development in the salt fields.

giup dan 2Ms. Tran Thi Tien in Dong Tan village said: "After the first field trials in class we enjoyed M2 because of the yield at 280 kg / sao with small leaf, not big leaf and hard to care as the Nhi uu 838. I took two cups of M2 seed from class field, and planted about 2 feet in 2013 crops. I have applied what is guided by implanting 1 slips and young rice transplanting, fertilizing the right time. After the crop, compared with Nhi uu 838 and Duu 527, I saw that M2 is much better. My family used to plant the Nhi uu 838 because of its salinity resistance. But the rice only used for farming because it was dries. By this spring we decided to uese the entire 1.6 sao to transplant the M2. By this time, we have not harvested yet but compared to the rice field next to, M2 looked better." From the day using M2, known technique to breed, and apply the principles of SRI method, many farmers like her family are very excited because it saved about 200000 Dong production costs per sao (500m2) by not losing money to buy seed, less pesticide sprays because of M2 good resistant to pest and disease, require less care than normal....

In Bac Kan, "System of Rice Intensification improvements (SRI) to cope with climate change" which is started by SRD in early 2012 in three districts of Ba Be, Cho Moi and Na Ri was highly appreciated by Mr. Dang Van Son Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development for helping to improve the capacity of farmers to be able to apply new scientific advances on the rice of local varieties.

Specifically, the project led farmers to adopt SRI in many purely local varieties and different soil to find out which varieties and conditions were the most suitable before applying SRI on a larger scale. Farmers were improved capacity to become scientists on the field. Initial results show that SRI helps to increase production up to 30%, very suitable when applied on a number of purely local varieties, especially like Bao Thai.

Mr. Ngo Tien Dung, Deputy Director of the Department of Plant Protection, said that the SRI enhanced resistance of rice to the impacts of extreme weather events due to the deeper roots compared to traditional methods. Moreover, thanks to a 30% reduction of watering so SRI should be able to adapt better in drought conditions. In particular, by reducing the water in the field regularly, SRI significantly reduces methane, one of the gases that cause greenhouse gas emissions causing global climate change.

Deploying the Project "Disaster Risk Mitigation and adaptation to climate change based on community" organized by Caritas Australia funding, SRD has supported 18 households cooperative members of Thai Duong Thuong commune, Hai Duong commune, Huong Tra district, Thua Thien – Hue to build successful watermelon planting - drought resistant model to utilize land for rice cultivation in summer-autumn abandoned due to lack of water and create livelihoods for farmers. Watermelon here is sweet sound, which is a combination of sea saltiness and sweetness of sugar, according to Ms. Thuy - one of the most successful melon growers in the commune.

Besides, RVT salt-tolerant rice that SRD invests in the field of Hai Duong has dominance in extreme weather conditions. RVT has high yield and quality, at about 5000 -5500 kg / ha, which farmers can sell at a higher price than local rice varieties used in the past, contributing to improving the income of farmers. RVT with salt tolerance, good resistance to pests and diseases, nutrient absorption is high, short growth time reducing the risk of floods and rainy weather conditions.

RVT Salt-tolerant rice model is not only bringing economic benefits but also social impact. The model has helped raise awareness and capacity of local governments and people to adapt to the impacts of climate change in coastal areas of Tam Giang, helped local farmers raise awareness about the seed and practical knowledge in the field, identify new varieties of high quality seed to supplement local rice structures, contribute to poverty reduction and food security. The participating farmers who planted salt-tolerant rice confirmed that RVT was suitable for salty and acidic soil, especially for the saline coastal lagoon to adapt to climate change increasingly today.

Along with these varieties to adapt to climate change, SRD and its partners have helped some local farmers organize breeding in accordance with advanced techniques. Breeding models on biological padding is an example that SRD implemented successfully within the framework of the project "Implementing value chain to improve rural livelihoods in the context of climate change" in some communes in Can Loc district, Ha Tinh province.

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After visiting this model in Xuan Loc, Deputy Chairman of Ha Tinh – Mr. Le Dinh Son said that the "breeding-based on bio-padding" ensured effective environmental, input-cost savings, reduction in livestock prices; the sub-products used for cultivation were essential that must have in-depth study to be replicated on different localities of the province. Mr. Son proposed urgently objective assessment and discussed the possibility of expanding on the area of the other villages in the district. Mr. Son also said that the province will take the SIDA project to support the deployment model and encourage the breeding companies to perform this procedure.

The people who involved in the implementation of this model is the direct subject to build the handbook "A number of methods to protect animals and plants in extreme weather conditions." The handbook is built on the basis of a combination of scientific knowledge and practical experience of indigenous people. It not only the summary of technical methods from agricultural experts but also the "recipes" were drawn by people in Can Loc from the cultivation of their livestock. Most people who contributed opinions said that the handbook will help them be more proactive in responding to changes in the weather. Previously they usually used to act passively when extreme weather occurred, but now they actively apply the precautionary measures to protect crops, buffalos and chickens around.

Ms. Vu Thi Bich Hop - Director of SRD said that SRD has implemented numerous projects on climate change and sustainable agriculture. But when working on implementation, project officers have not told residents about worry and calculation for climate change. They only sayid that the project contributed to the environment, helped to use natural resources efficiently and reduced emissions in the air ... This is the way to help people change perceptions, and then slowly explains to them how to adapt, mitigate the effects of climate change.

Phuong Hoan

Translated by Nga Nguyen

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