The DeRISK Southeast Asia Vietnam Country team worked closely with the Department of Crop Production (DCP), provincial and district authorities, and experienced farmers to co-produce local agro-climatic information. The objective of this activity is to provide climate/weather forecasts and agro-advisories that help farmers to be better informed and thus adapt better to climate/weather conditions, avoiding climate/weather-related risks. So-called local agro-climatic bulletins for summer-autumn 2021 and autumn-winter seasons for rice, vegetables, and dragon fruit were developed in pilot districts in Tieng Giang in the Mekong River Delta, and for rice and grapes in Ninh Thuan on the South-Central Coast of Vietnam.
The seasonal agro-climatic bulletin includes the likelihood of temperatures to be warmer or cooler than normal and rainfall to be drier or wetter. In addition, it also included the impact of the forecast on crops according to cropping stages and recommended farm management practices. Seasonal agro-climatic bulletins are developed twice per season per pilot district for long-term planning.
In pilot districts, the seasonal agro-climatic bulletins were shared with nine communes in the South-Central Coast and with 12 communes in the Mekong River Delta through various communication channels such as Zalo groups – a local messaging app in Vietnam – printed bulletins, posters, and loudspeaker broadcasts. Local stakeholders also support monitoring of the bulletins by providing feedback from end-users. It is estimated that about 20,000 farmers were reached this cropping season.
To strengthen the role of key stakeholders and local ownership, a technical working group (TWG) has been established by the Ninh Thuan and Tien Giang Sub-Departments of Crop Production (DCP).
A preliminary (mid-season) review conducted in the two provinces in July 2021 showed very positive feedback and great appreciation from local stakeholders and farmers. The forecast and agro-advisories in the bulletins have been perceived to be reasonable, easy to understand, and easy to apply. Farmers have applied the seasonal forecast information and agro-advisories to plan for the season by following recommendations on planting dates, varieties, adaptation measures for specific crop growth stages, and land preparation, and have based their irrigation activities on the water discharge plan. Thanks to the 10-day bulletins, farmers know the types of pests and diseases in their fields and visit regularly to spray plant protection product with the appropriate active ingredients. Moreover, the weather forecast helps them decide when to spray to avoid losses due to rain. The tailored climate information and agro-advisories have improved planning and informed decision making, enabling farmers to avoid the impact of adverse conditions.
The project’s activities are highly appreciated and acknowledged by the provinces’ Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) because the capacity of provincial and district officials in the TWG has been increased. Tien Giang’s DARD issued directive letter number 3390/SNN&PTNT-TT&BVTV1 to acknowledge the project’s successful support and requesting all remaining districts in the province to apply seasonal and 10-day forecasts to develop similar bulletins for dissemination to farmers. If plans hold, other districts and provinces in the region will start developing the tailored forecasts in 2022.
DeRISK Southeast Asia is a regional adaptation project on climate risk management implemented in Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao, and Myanmar, led by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) with its co-implementing partners – the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), the Alliance of Biodiversity International, and CIAT. For more information about DeRISK Southeast Asia, please visit https://deriskseasia.org