Smallholder farmers in Vietnam struggling with the problems of climate change are to benefit from a $30.2 million project to improve water supplies.
The new six-year initiative will directly benefit more than 222,400 people in the provinces of Dak Lak, Dak, Nong, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan and Khanh Hoa.
The project will provide modernised irrigation systems, improve access to water and train farmers how to be more resilient in the face of climate change challenges.
In addition, more than 335,000 people are expected to indirectly benefit from improved institutional capacities through training and technical assistance, enhanced access to climate risk information, and widespread dissemination of best practices in climate-resilient agriculture.
The Green Climate Fund project, supported by the United Nations Development Programme, will be administered in Vietnam by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP resident repre-sentative in Vietnam, said the project was part of an innovative and integrated approach to building resilience.
“The grant complements and leverages ADB (Asian Development Bank) investment in modernised irrigation systems in drought-affected provinces, ensuring the benefits extend to the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly ethnic minority and women farmers,” she said.
Ha Cong Tuan, Vietnam’s Standing Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said his country was facing severe effects from climate change.
“This transformative project, financed with the support of the Green Climate Fund and the UN Development Programme, will effectively help our smallholder farmers – particularly ethnic minority and women farmers – in the most vulnerable provinces of central Vietnam to adapt to increasing rainfall variability and drought caused by climate change,” he said.
Climate change is expected to bring wetter wet seasons and drier dry seasons to parts of Vietnam, with an increased risk of severe droughts.
For many farmers this will mean reduced crop productivity – hitting food security and incomes – and making it more difficult for small-scale farmers, some of whom have plots of less than one hectare, to produce the two rain-fed crops per year that they currently rely on.