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ChildFund Korea and ActionAid Vietnam collaborate to promote low-emission agricultural solutions in the Mekong Delta

Bạc Liêu

Bac Lieu, Vietnam – During Mar 11th – 12th, 2024 the technical delegation representing ChildFund Korea and ActionAid Vietnam worked with specialized agencies of Soc Trang and Bac Lieu provinces, experts and lecturers from Can Tho University, and community representatives from Long Phu district and Dong Hai district.

Vietnam ranks as the world's third-largest exporter of shrimp as of December 2023. Aquaculture, particularly shrimp farming and processing, has provided livelihoods for 5 million Vietnamese on-farm workers. In the southern Mekong Delta provinces of Bac Lieu and Soc Trang, approximately 200,000 people rely on shrimp farming and processing in brackish water for their livelihoods, contributing around 25-35% of the provinces' GDP. However, aquaculture operations and production wastes worsen the pollution in soil, water, and air, their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions exacerbating global warming.

With special funding from ChildFund Korea and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), ActionAid Vietnam is collaborating to build programs in the Mekong Delta region aiming to reduce agricultural waste and improve environmental quality in this area. The collaborative project will be implemented from 2024 to 2026 to achieve the following outcomes: i) Reduction of GHG emissions and solid waste from agriculture production; ii) Support the establishment of rapid response mechanism to surface water pollution. Budget allocated is approx. USD 1.5 million, supporting 320,000 people, and aiming to reduce an average of 3,250 kg of solid waste per farming household after three years of project implementation.

This collaboration programme will expand the use of biogas for waste treatment and provide renewable and low-emission fuel sources to livestock, poultry, and aquaculture households. It also aims to enhance community capacity in agricultural waste management, establish self-monitoring mechanisms to control water quality and solid waste management on farms, and support environmental protection and waste reduction initiatives. These objectives were discussed over two days of active exchange by the technical teams of ChildFund and ActionAid, local officials, scientists, and beneficiary representatives. The parties have essentially agreed on the collaborative framework, developed action plans, and technical measures to effectively implement, support community access, and practice environmental sustainability, GHGs reduction, and energy transition in sustainable agricultural development in the near future.

On this collaboration, Mr. Nguyen Trung Hieu, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Bac Lieu province, shared, "The programs that ActionAid and potential partners are practical and closely linked to the livelihoods of local people, especially in the context of agricultural development. Aquaculture is a priority for us but is creating environmental pollution and increased GHG emissions. We are striving to achieve $9 billion from shrimp exports annually and there is a great need for low-emission shrimp products that are beneficial for farmers, processors, and consumers. We welcome the collaboration between ActionAid and ChildFund Korea in this program, which helps improve the quality of Vietnamese shrimp, particularly Bac Lieu shrimp branding, enabling farmers to have a better quality of life, and protecting agricultural resources and ecosystems."