Rice farmers in Vietnam guaranteed a market share in sustainable rice production

Written by Nguyen Ngoc Son, project officer for Land and Agriculture, GIZ Vietnam

Photos by GIZ Vietnam

About 10,000 farmers with standardized rice in Vietnam will have their share in a global market through a joint project between public and private sectors.

“There will be promising markets where rice from Vietnamese farmers who work towards the SRP [Sustainable Rice Platform] standard will be introduced to the consumers,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Tram from Olam International.

Olam International is one of the active private partners in the project called: Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA).

Through a joint initiative, about 50 potential trainers from four provinces – Can Tho, An Giang, Bac Lieu and Dong Thap – have been intensively trained to become master trainers to extend mentoring and transfer knowledge about the SRP standard which covered occupational health and safety to other trainers and farmers locally.

A recent training on topics related to the concept of SRP, which is the world’s first sustainability standard for rice production, was given to the trainers under support of the Vietnamese Government.

“The SRP is a high standard of rice cultivation, so we should pay attention on each requirement, which reflects the current techniques of Vietnam’s rice farming,” said Mr. Le Quoc Cuong, Director of Southern Regional Plant Protection Center, Plant Protection Department.

41 criteria of the standard are built around eight main goals which are improved productivity, food safety, effective use of water, nutrients and pesticide, biodiversity, community, greenhouse gas emission, labour rights and ethics.

In responding to market demand in Europe and the United States,

Mr. Tran Dinh Dung from the Department of Cooperative Economy and Rural Development emphasized the needs of the sustainable practices that will help Vietnamese rice farmers produce good quality rice.

As the impacts of climate change are expected to reduce yields and nutritional value of rice, hitting farmers particularly hard in regions such as Southeast Asia, shifting to climate-smart and sustainable rice farming practices is urgently needed and requires best cooperation between public and private sectors.

The training was organized between January 13-19 on Phu Quoc island in Kien Giang province.

The 50 trainers will later manage and deliver training to at least 10,000 rice farmers locally.

Master trainers discuss the different requirements of the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standard during a training held between January 13-19 on Phu Quoc island in Kien Giang province, Vietnam. (Photo credit: GIZ Vietnam)
About 50 master trainers are divided into four groups to practice the training with comments and advices provided by consultant team. (Photo credit: GIZ Vietnam)
Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Tram from Olam International gives the opening speech and introduces the Olam Farmer Information System (OFIS) to the participants. (Photo credit: GIZ Vietnam)