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IFAD support transforms farmers’ lives in Vietnam

The international financial institution has helped Vietnam eliminate poverty, increase agricultural productivity, and empower rural communities while assisting the country’s sustainable development with new approaches.

The cooperation between the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Vietnam has been instrumental in transforming the lives of small-scale farmers.

 Hoang Van Giap, Director of IFAD-supported Commercial Smallholder Support Project (CSSP) Bac Kan, speaks of the IFAD’s 30-year support. Photo: VTV Screenshot

Hoang Van Giap, Director of IFAD-supported Commercial Smallholder Support Project (CSSP) Bac Kan, shared the view at the ceremony celebrating the 30th anniversary of the partnership between IFAD and Vietnam held in Hanoi this week.

“Through the CSSP project, we have observed remarkable improvements in agricultural practices, market access, and income generation. This has not only alleviated poverty but also created a sense of hope and optimism among rural communities,” Giap said at the event where Bac Kan joined as one of the typical beneficiaries of IFAD’s decades-long support.

“We are truly grateful for IFAD’s support and look forward to continuing our work together in bringing sustainable development to our Northern region,” Giap emphasized at the event which marked the attendance of representatives from various government ministries, the United Nations, international organizations, and development partners.

 Huynh Nghia Tho, Director of the IFAD-supported Climate Smart Agriculture Transformation (CSAT) Project in Tra Vinh. Photo: The Hanoi Times

Sharing the same view, Huynh Nghia Tho, Director of the IFAD-supported Climate Smart Agriculture Transformation (CSAT) Project underway in Ben Tre and Tra Vinh provinces, said IFAD’s assistance in Tra Vinh over the past time has resulted in new approaches in farming.

It has formed sustainable production areas with high-quality products, creating value chains and farmer-business connections, enabling residents, especially those in economically disadvantaged areas and ethnic minorities, to have a stable output network and earn more money, Tho told The Hanoi Times.

“With US$56 million in funding, IFAD has supported the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh in agriculture, farmers, rural areas, and poor and near-poor households. Local farmers have benefited from the support by becoming more resilient to the effects of climate change, such as salinization and sea level rise. Initially, they formed adaptive livelihood zones and multiplied throughout Tra Vinh and Ben Tre,” Tho added.

With the support of Vietnamese firm RYNAN Technologies, which works as a partner of IFAD in technical assistance, new cultivation models, such as water-saving irrigation, microbial organic fertilizer, salinity monitory system, insect monitoring network, and soil nutrient monitoring station, have been applied in the provinces and nationwide, he emphasized.

Nguyen Thanh My, Ph.D., Chairman of RYNAN Technologies Vietnam JSC. Photo: VTV

Nguyen Thanh My, Ph.D., Chairman of RYNAN Technologies Vietnam JSC, said the new cultivation models and extensive network of stations for monitoring pesticides have helped farmers produce organic products in the Mekong Delta and in Vietnam. He stressed the significance of digital transformation in agriculture and aquaculture and more importantly, corporate responsibility for sustainable development of Vietnam’s agriculture.

Ho Bich Hanh, Director of IFAD-supported the Ben Tre Women’s Economic Development Fund, emphasized the importance of empowering women in rural development for sustainable progress. IFAD has provided capital, supplies, and training programs, helping women access key financial sources, reduce dependence on high-interest loans, and develop entrepreneurship skills.

“In rural areas, women are often the main workforce and play a crucial role in agriculture and community development. Empowering women enables them to access resources, markets, and decision-making, leading to improved lives and economic growth,” she said.

 IFAD Associate Vice President, Corporate Services Department, Guoqi Wu. Photo: VTV

30-year supporting journey

Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Tran Thanh Nam praised IFAD’s unwavering dedication to sustainable development and noted the impressive advancements in rural community empowerment, poverty reduction, and agricultural productivity that the agency has assisted Vietnam over the past three decades.

The celebration recognized IFAD and Vietnam’s collaborative efforts in transforming rural lives and livelihoods in the country. It showcased IFAD’s dedication to economic development and climate resilience in the nation and served as a testament to their shared goals, mutual trust, and impactful interventions.

Attending the ceremony, IFAD Associate Vice President, Corporate Services Department, Guoqi Wu, said IFAD’s commitment to Vietnam extends beyond economic development.

“Given Vietnam’s vulnerability to climate change, we prioritize climate adaptation for small-scale farmers and engaging communities to adopt climate-informed approaches while equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge. Our work has empowered rural women and young people, including those from ethnic minorities, fostering their active participation in sustainable development,” he told The Hanoi Times.

Since its operations in Vietnam in 1993, we have helped local farmers change cultivation models and approaches to increase agricultural productivity and recently their efforts to adapt to climate change for more resilient growth and sustainable development,” Guoqi Wu said.

 Ceremony to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the partnership between Vietnam and IFAD. Photo: VTV

Over the past three decades, IFAD has mobilized over $788 million in financing, supporting more than 16 projects that have directly improved the lives of over 735,000 families in Vietnam.

These projects strategically addressed the challenges and opportunities arising from Vietnam’s transition to a lower-middle-income country, changing economic structure, and growing urbanization. Key areas of focus have included market-led innovations, institutional and policy reform, and capacity building of local governments, farmers, and rural communities.

Meanwhile, Ambrosio Barros, IFAD Country Director for Vietnam highlighted the positive outcomes in poverty reduction, income generation, and the establishment of saving and credit groups that promote financial inclusion and economic empowerment. Looking ahead, IFAD’s collaboration with Vietnam will prioritize addressing the impacts of climate change and ensuring the participation of marginalized groups. The organization remains committed to building a more equitable and sustainable future, leaving no one behind.

IFAD’s ongoing projects in Vietnam, namely CSSP in Bac Kan and Cao Bang and CSAT in Ben Tre and Tra Vinh, have received a total investment of $86 million. These projects exemplify the continued dedication of the specialized United Nations agency to supporting rural development, enhancing livelihoods, and fostering sustainable agricultural practices in the country.