AVERP final dissemination workshop and grand award ceremony
On 25 August 2021, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Thai Binh Provincial People’s Committee (PPC) and Crop Production Department, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) co-organised the AgResults Vietnam Emissions Reduction Challenge Project (AVERP) Final Dissemination Workshop and Grand Awarding Ceremony online. The event was attended by more than 100 attendees representing SNV in Vietnam, AgResults donors and international development organisations based in Vietnam, departments and institutes of MARD, the Thai Binh PPC, relevant departments and agencies, project competitors participating in the project, and many more agricultural experts who participated during the online event.
As an agricultural-based economy, rice production and exports play a key role in creating jobs and livelihoods for more than 70% of the population of Vietnam. According to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change, the agriculture sector accounts for 33% of total non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, of which rice cultivation accounts for approximately 50%. To address this challenge, AgResults designed the AVERP project to identify novel approaches for reducing GHG emissions, improve rice cultivation and increase yield, and to scale-up the most effective approaches likely to benefit thousands of smallholder farmers (SHFs).
The AgResults Vietnam Emissions Reduction Challenge Project (AVERP) aimed to develop, test and scale-up innovative technologies, tools, and approaches to reduce GHG emissions in land cultivation and the production stages of Rice, while reducing poverty, protecting the environment, and preparing for climate change. The project applied a ‘pay-for-results’ prize competition: a type of ‘pull mechanism’ that provides monetary incentives to overcome market barriers, in order to spur a diverse pool of actors to achieve significant GHG emissions reductions. The project was implemented in Thai Binh province in the Red River Delta, Vietnam from 2016 to 2021.
AVERP implementation and results
The project was conducted in two phases. Phase I was implemented across two test cropping seasons, from the summer of 2017 to spring 2018. Phase II covered four consecutive cropping seasons, from spring 2019 to summer 2020. During Phase II, 47,762 SHF admissions, representing 85 agricultural co-ops and covering a total area of 4,937 ha participated and applied the four sustainable rice farming technology packages, tested and allowed for large-scale implementation in Thai Binh by the project.
Verification results from the project found that under two distinctive climatic conditions – spring and summer cropping seasons – the technology packages reduced 0.5 tons GHG emissions/ha and increased 0.2 tons yield/ha on average in comparison to conventional cultivation methods in Thai Binh. The project’s technology packages reduced overall costs for smallholder farmers by approximately 15%, as the packages facilitated the efficient use of input materials. After five years of implementation in Thai Binh, the project contributed to economic development, the protection of environment and resources, and strengthened the rice value chain. Verified results also helped form policies to, (i) engage the private sector for technology transfer, and (ii) implement and scale-up sustainable rice farming technologies in the Red River Delta, and Vietnam more broadly.
Dissemination workshop and testimonies of success
During the online event, Mr Tristan Armstrong from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and representative of the AgResults Steering Committee reflected on the impact that the Vietnam prize competition has had in encouraging farmers to improve their agronomic practices. He spoke to the potential of a pay-for-results model in incentivising companies to develop, test, and scale-up technology packages for the use of rice farmers, and to increase productivity and food security in a sustainable way.
‘In Thai Binh, the prize competition encouraged private sector actors to compete by motivating them to develop, test, and scale technology packages and agricultural best practices among smallholder farmers,’ said Mr Armstrong. He added, ‘The _d__onor community is very excited to see the continued impact of this competition on future activities targeting climate-smart agriculture and resilience._’
According to Ms Tran Thu Ha, ‘i__n addition to delivering the triple win that benefits all actors in the r__ice value chain_,_ including the smallholder farmers, the p__roject has constituted three key pillars for sustainability beyond the p__roject timelines: (i) a__ligned with and contributed to p__olicy reform for the “Rice-Restructuring Plan and Crop Production Strategy for 2020-2025 with vision to 2030”, and Vietnam’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC__s); (ii) p__roved the roles and readiness of the private sector for technology innovation and scal__ing up in the r__ice value chain_,_ and (iii) o__pened up opportunities for green credit and carbon financing_,_ which will catalyse both businesses and farmers to enthusiastically implement low-carbon farming technologies_.__”_
Key central and provincial government officials concluded the event by reflecting on the project’s impacts, and reiterating their commitment for a future of low-carbon agriculture in Vietnam.
From Thai Binh Province, Mr Nguyen Khac Than**, Chair** of the Thai Binh Provincial People’s Committee said,
‘On behalf of Thai Binh Provincial People’s Committee, I’d like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the AgResults d__onor a__gencies; the i__nternational o__rgani__s__ations for their support; the leadership and dynamism from SNV; the close collaboration and support from the Central and Provincial Project Management Boards to make the p__roject a great success. On this occasion, I command the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Thai Binh, the c__ompetitors and the localities, to continue implement__ing the advanced technologies tested by the p__roject in the coming r__ice crops_;_ for sustainable economic development and social security contribution. I also command that the public media, including the r__adio and t__elevision of Thai Binh and news agencies to promote the introduction and propaganda program__me__s of scientific-proven efficacies of the technologies from the p__roject to the C__ommunist Party Leadership, local authorities_,_ and farmers_;_ for their direction and implementation of these technologies.'
Mr Nguyen Nhu Cuong, General Director of the Crop Production Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, emphasised the need for Vietnam-led activities going forward.
‘With the demonstrated positive and effective results of the p__roject, our responsibility is to work with localities, businesses and international partners to develop and propose solutions and policies within our authority for scaling. With matters beyond our authority, we will report to Ministerial leaders so that they can address such matters within the authority of the Ministry. This way, we will have complete, comprehensive and effective solutions to promote the linkage between businesses and agricultural c__ooperatives in r__ice production, to ensure the effective implementation of crop production restructuring objectives, especially r__ice restructuring, in the current context of serious climate change impacts.__’
The project awarded grand prizes to three competitors based on scientifically verified results. Award recipients were announced by senior leaders from Thai Binh People’s Committee and Crop Production Department – MARD, and the Project Manager of SNV.
1st prize: US$ 750,000 won by ThaiBinh Seed Group Joint Stock Company
2nd prize: US$ 400,000 won by An Dinh Technology Development and Investment Company Limited
3rd prize: US$ 200,000 won by Seed Joint Stock Company for Food Crops.
Over two phases, AVERP awarded a total prize amount of approximately US$ 3 million to participating Competitors.
Mr Tran Manh Bao, representative of the first prize winner, Competitor I5 (ThaiBinh Seed), expressed the company’s commitment beyond the project:
‘This project was implemented with complete transparency and an effective mechanism. This has enabled us to successfully carry out the technology package and encourage voluntary adoptions by smallholder farmers. We are dedicated to the roll-out of Thai Binh Seed’s verified technology package in all our rice growing sites across the country, as well as to continue spreading this technology to other key rice growing regions in Vietnam. We hope that these efforts will make important contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in rice production in Vietnam.’
For further information, contact: Ms Tran Thu Ha, SNV Agriculture Advisor and AVERP Team Leader at email@example.com.
SNV Netherlands Development Organisation is a not-for-profit international development organisation. Founded in the Netherlands in 1965, we have built a long-term country presence in over 30 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Using market-based approaches, SNV is committed to reducing poverty by catalyzing environmentally sustainable solutions for the poor in agriculture, energy, water & sanitation, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), Women’s economic empowerment, etc. SNV has been working in Vietnam since 1995, and currently has over 40 national and international staff. SNV Vietnam’s team works hand-in-hand with communities, government agencies and businesses in more than 50 provinces, including the remotest and poorest areas of the country, to strengthen their capacity to effectively reduce poverty. Website: snv.org/country/vietnam
AgResults Vietnam Emissions Reduction Challenge Project (AVERP) is managed by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and has been implemented in Thai Binh province for the period 2016-2021. The project aims to develop, test, and scale up innovative technologies, tools, and approaches to reduce GHG emissions in the land cultivation and production stages for Rice, while reducing poverty, protecting the environment, and preparing for climate change. The project utilizes a ‘pull mechanism’, an innovative finance mechanism that provides monetary incentives to overcome market barriers in order to spur a diverse pool of actors to achieve significant GHG emissions reductions. Website: https://snv.org/project/averp-agresults-vietnam-emissions-reduction-pilot
AgResults is a US$ 152 million multi-donor initiative between the governments of Australia, Canada, the U.K., the U.S., and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to incentivise and reward high-impact agricultural innovations that promote global food security, health and nutrition, and benefit smallholder farmers. The initiative is currently running five Challenge Projects in Eastern Africa, Indonesia, Senegal, and one globally. Website: https://agresults.org