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Vietnam (Southeast Asia)

Vietnam terraces

Southeast Asia produces an estimated 7,767 Gg CH4/year or 194,186 Gg CO2e/year from 48.5 million ha of paddy rice, and globally is the region with the second-highest emissions from rice (China is the highest emitter). Vietnam is distinctive in the region for its high proportion of irrigated, rather than rainfed, rice. Of the total annually cultivated rice area of about 3 million ha, 2.96 million ha are irrigated and are usually planted with two to three rice crops per year. Rice irrigation accounts for 70% of national water needs. GHG emissions from rice are 37.4 Tg/year, or 57.5% of national emissions (UNFCCC 2000).

Vietnam has a population of 90 million. Rice is cultivated on 82% of its arable land, with about 52% produced in the Mekong River Delta and another 18% in the Red River Delta. The country is the world’s fifth-largest paddy rice producer and a leading exporter. Planting of modern rice varieties of short duration, improved management of resources, and appropriate government policies have enabled Vietnam to be consistently self-sufficient in rice since 1985. Vietnam and IRRI have worked in areas of varietal improvement, conservation of rice diversity, and sustainable farming systems.

AWD in Vietnam has been studied and implemented at small scales since the 1960s to save water and increase rice yields. Research conducted in 2002–2003 examined emissions associated with AWD at the 10-ha level in the Mekong Delta, Red River Delta, and Quang Binh Province. Consistent increases in yields and reductions of methane were found.

In 2013–2015, the government plans to expand this to the 50-ha scale. In 2011, Vietnam committed to Decision 3119 to integrate GHG emission reductions in agriculture by improving irrigation and input efficiencies in selected national programs.  Ministerials consultations indicate a high demand to identify feasible technical packages for farmers and integrate AWD into these national programs.


Rice growing areas in Vietnam
1 dot = 5,000 ha

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