Precision agriculture for smallholder farmers in Vietnam: How the Internet of Things helps smallholder paddy farmers use water more efficiently

blogs.worldbank.org

“Paddy is our life, but many people don’t want us to grow paddy anymore,” laments Pham Van Tuan, a rice farmer in Can Tho province of Vietnam. “Big people from Ho Chi Minh City say that our paddy is causing climate change and water scarcity in the world.”

Paddy cultivation emits over 10 percent of global agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and consumes 21 percent of the total water volume used for global crop production.  Water is increasingly scarce in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, which has been hit by record droughts in recent years. Solutions that help farmers like Pham Van Tuan to grow rice while drastically reducing GHG emission and water usage would be a game-changer for the Mekong Delta. Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) is one such practice where rice fields are alternately flooded and dried, and water levels kept low during the flooded stage. This irrigation practice reduces water use up to 28 percent and methane emissions up to 48 percent. With such immense benefits, one would expect that this practice is applied far and wide. But that is not so. Why? Tiếp tục đọc “Precision agriculture for smallholder farmers in Vietnam: How the Internet of Things helps smallholder paddy farmers use water more efficiently”

Vietnam’s Homegrown System for Saving Water

A young man returned home to invent an internet-integrated system that helps farmers produce more food with less water.

Tri Nguyen, CEO of MimosaTEK, was born and raised in Dalat, a city in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam, where the land is mountainous and fertile. He grew up surrounded by local farmers who planted a rich variety of products ­— from bell peppers and flowers to coffee and bananas. Tri moved to Ho Chi Minh City to work in the information technology sector as a young man, but when the opportunity came, he decided to return to his roots and start a strawberry farm with his friends in Dalat.

Tri turned to the local farmers to learn everything he could about growing strawberries. But he kept hearing something that didn’t seem right: The farmers instructed him to irrigate until water dripped out of the soil when he picked it up in his hands.

Tri did some research that confirmed his instincts: The farmers didn’t need to be using that much water. But when he told his neighbors, they insisted on continuing to overwater their crops. It was how they were taught and how they had farmed all their lives.

“I realized then that the farmers based their decisions on experiences instead of scientific data,” says Tri.

Smallholder and family farmers in Dalat water their crops based on what they see and feel. They don’t consult data on the weather or rainfall because they were never taught to do so. This is leading to excessive irrigation, which can stunt growth or kill crops, and deplete limited groundwater. Furthermore, Vietnam is still recovering from its strongest-ever drought, and every drop counts. Many of Dalat’s farmers are already suffering from water shortages. Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam’s Homegrown System for Saving Water”

Using real-time satellite data to track water productivity in agriculture

New FAO tool offers water-scarce countries and river basins a way to boost productivity

Photo: ©FAO/Olivier Asselin

Watering crops in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

FAO 20 April 2017, Rome – Measuring how efficiently water is used in agriculture, particularly in water-scarce countries, is going high-tech with the help of a new tool developed by FAO.

The WaPOR open-access database has gone live, tapping satellite data to help farmers achieve more reliable agricultural yields and allowing for the optimization of irrigation systems.

WaPOR was presented this week during a high-level partners meeting for FAO’s Coping with water scarcity in agriculture: a global framework for action in a changing climate. It allows for fine-grained analysis of water utilised through farming systems, generating empirical evidence about how it can be most productively used.

Worldwide water utilization – the majority of which is used by agriculture – has outpaced the rate of population growth for most of the last century and some regions are close to breaching viable limits. Tiếp tục đọc “Using real-time satellite data to track water productivity in agriculture”