Novel approaches in Climate-Smart Villages in Mekong Region

Project Description

To improve the capacities and capabilities of rural communities in addressing climate change challenges, the climate-smart agriculture (CSA) model is being introduced as a means to ensure food security, promote adaptation and build resilience to climatic stresses particularly in the Mekong Deltas. With local partners, Climate-Smart Villages (CSVs) are being established where a set of existing 'no-regret' CSA technologies will be tested and prioritised based on yield and resilience potential and other beneficial features. These initiatives will then be scaled up to other farms and villages in the Mekong Region.

This project comprises three activities at different scales, namely 

  1. testing approaches and tools for dissemination of CSA and outscaling of CSV, 
  2. engaging stakeholders and building capacities for upscaling of CSA/ CSV, and
  3. mainstreaming selected CSA practices and the CSV concept in Mekong Basin countries

The scaling process of these CSA technologies will be facilitated through participatory approaches with farmers, complemented with knowledge platforms and multi-stakeholder forums. Innovative ICT approaches such as mobile phone apps for reaching a large number of end-users will be deployed and certification of CSA practices will be explored to define incentives within broader technology promotion schemes.

Outcomes

The objective of this project is to engage partners in the development of appropriate tools and the systematic dissemination of climate-smart agriculture practices. To this end, the project shall aim for the following outcomes:

  • Policy-makers at provincial and national levels improve their knowledge and capacity to integrate major principles of CSA and food production into development planning
  • Farmers at both CSV and district levels improve their knowledge and capacity to experiment and adopt some promising CSA practices into existing local farming systems, which can result in positive agronomic and socio-economic impacts
  • Local agriculture service providers (e.g. government extension services, traders, NGOs) improve their capacity to provide appropriate support to the farmers on CSA practices and to facilitate knowledge sharing and cross learning for further scale-out through best practice approaches
  • Development organisations take into account a coherent CSV approach for planning their portfolios
  • Researchers regard the four CSVs as ‘lighthouse projects’ for CSA practices in the Lower Mekong Basin

Expected Outputs

  • Tools and customized decision support instruments (e.g. mobile phone apps)
  • Knowledge products (e.g. GIS-based maps)
  • Learning platforms (e.g. village-based information center)
  • Evidence-based policy recommendations for mainstreaming CSA practices including checklist on gender and other social differentiation aspects

Partners

The International Rice Research Institute is the overall project coordinator, and will bring in technical knowledge on rice production, while work of partner centers namely, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and WorldFish will focus on water management and aquaculture, respectively. They will concertedly engage in cross-regional activities related to outscaling and upscaling of CSAs through the CSV approach.

Local collaborators include various national and local stakeholders such as Can Tho University and Nong Lam University in Vietnam, District and Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Offices, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, Mekong Delta Center and Cuso International in Laos, and Department of Agriculture Extension and Aphivat Strey in Cambodia.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Project Leader, Reiner Wassmann (IRRI) at r.wassmann@irri.org.