A rice paddy becomes dried because of water shortage (Source: VNA)

Ninh Thuan (VNA) – Vietnam is taking numerous measures to ensure food security in the context of increasing climate change.

Addressing a ceremony to mark the 36th anniversary of the World Food Day, themed “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.” in the south central coastal province of Ninh Thuan on October 14, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said Vietnam is among the nations hardest hit by climate change and natural disasters.

It is forecast that up to 32.2 percent of agricultural areas will be affected by climate change by the end of this century, resulting in a reduction of 7.2 million tonnes of rice, he said.

In order to adapt to climate change and sea level rise, Vietnam has focused on applying scientific and technological advances and restructuring agricultural production towards forming value chains and drawing investment in the sector.

Many Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) models have been developed, which help reduce the use of fertiliser, chemicals, water and emission gas by 30 percent while increasing rice productivity by 10-20 percent.

The models have also helped halve production costs and raising and farmers’ income.

Vietnam has launched an action plan for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture and rural development sector for 2016-2020, with a vision toward 2050, and a plan to implement the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) in the field.

In order to successfully realise the above-mentioned plans, Vietnam continues strengthening the role of farming households and paying attention to rural women and gender equality in agriculture, contributing to reducing poverty sustainably, ensuring food security and political stability, and boosting socio-economic development.

At the event, JongHa Baen, FAO representative in Vietnam suggested changes be made in seven fields related to food and agricultural production, which are cultivation, post-harvest loss, food waste, food system, fisheries, forestry, animal husbandry, and natural resources.

He pledged that FAO is willing to provide support for Vietnam in implementing measures against climate change and mitigating its impacts.

The organisation will also help farmers, breeders, fishermen and people living in forests to enhance their climate change adaptation capacity and provide consultations for integrating climate change adaption into national policies, he said.

Vice Chairman of the Ninh Thuan province People’s Committee Tran Quoc Nam underlined the impacts of the prolonged El Nino phenomenon on local agricultural production and residents’ living conditions.

Nam also highlighted the support the international community has provided for the locality, including a FAO-funded project to ensure food and nutrition for children and vulnerable groups.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said Vietnam commits to mobilising all resources to successfully implement the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.-VNA