Food security at risk due to climate change

vietnamnews

Update: March, 23/2017 – 18:00

Crops wither following a prolonged drought in Bình Thuận Province in July, 2015. – VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh

HÀ NỘI — More solutions are urgently needed to ensure Việt Nam’s food security as climate change has transitioned from a risk to a nationwide reality, said an agricultural deputy minister on Wednesday.

Việt Nam is still considered an agricultural country, with approximately 70 per cent of the population living in rural areas which are highly susceptible to climate change, said Agriculture and Rural Development Deputy Minister Lê Quốc Doanh at a regional conference on food security held in Hà Nội on Wednesday.

“Việt Nam is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change in the world, having to face several natural disasters nationwide like drought and salt intrusion along with abnormally prolonged cold spells and floods,” he said.

The two-day conference, jointly organised by Việt Nam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs, has discussed ideas of innovation and co-operation to promote the practice of climate-smart agriculture.

The agricultural sector, faced with tremendous climate change challenges, must embrace new farming ideas. The Government, for example, allowed nearly 100,000ha of salt invaded fields along the coastline to be transformed to aquaculture areas, Doanh said.

Farmers in Ninh Thuận Province, meanwhile, turned to grow apple, grapes or garlic instead of rice to adapt to the harsher drought in the region. Its neighbouring Bình Thuận Province also dropped rice to grow the more valuable dragon fruit.

“Such measures by and large have helped Việt Nam to ensure the food security in the times of climate change,” he said.

“I hope that participants (of the conference) will bring out new ideas and solutions to promote the climate-smart agriculture”. — VNS

 

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