Vietnam (Southeast Asia)

Rice growing areas in Vietnam1 dot = 5,000 ha 

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. 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 hectares, 2.96 million hectares 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). 

In Vietnam, rice is cultivated on 82% of its arable land, with about 52% produced in the Mekong River Delta (MRD) 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. 

With the support from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), and other development partners, IRRI is changing the way rice is cultivated to mitigate its GHG emissions and environmental impacts. The Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) developed by IRRI has been proven to save up to 48% of methane emissions from rice and reduce 30% of irrigation water without yield penalty. The package of improved cultivation techniques named "1 Must-do, 5 Reductions" (1M5R) integrating AWD and other advanced techniques can save up to 11 tons of CO2 equivalent per hectare per year compared to conventional farming (measured by the World Bank’s 10th Mission within the VnSAT project). 

In 2020, Vietnam's Government committed to reducing 6 - 32 million tons of CO2 equivalent emitted from agriculture by 2030 in its updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Key technologies to achieve these ambitious targets include AWD and other low-emission packages in rice. At the same time, IRRI supports the national partners in assessing mitigation options and developing evidence-based action plans which consider the participation of multiple stakeholders. 

The impact of low-emission technologies in Vietnam's rice production has been featured as one of CGIAR's success stories in 2020 as the 10-year CCAFS program completed. One of the highlights is that the scaled adoption of the 1M5R package in MRD and AWD in An Giang province has been estimated to save about 2.7MtCO2e annually. Moving forwards, we will look at other mitigation options beyond AWD and in a broader scope of different rice-based cropping systems. IRRI is also supporting to upgrade Vietnam’s rice system and rice value chains through policy advice and business cases for improved practices to demonstrate how mitigation targets can go hand-in-hand with economic growth. 


How Vietnam is trying to stop rice warming the planet

In an effort to reduce emissions of methane, Vietnam is encouraging farmers not to clear their rice fields of left-over straw by burning but rather by turning it into mushrooms and organic fertilizer.

Low-emission technologies transform Vietnam’s rice sector

In 2020, Vietnam increased its Nationally Determined Contribution target for the agriculture sector for 2030 by 16MtCO2-eq. One hundred percent of the unconditional target will come from rice production, mainly as a result from a shift in irrigation water management.


Hanoi, Vietnam | March 2021 - Aiming at setting priorities for NDC implementation in rice production, the workshop highlighted different NDC scenarios to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while gaining economic, social, and environmental benefits sustainably... See more

Hanoi, Vietnam | December 15, 2020 - IRRI announced the successful completion of its consultancy under the Vietnam Sustainable Agriculture Transformation project with important contributions to Vietnam’s agriculture policies and innovative results that can be outscaled... See more

Hanoi, Vietnam | June 2017 - The group during the first stakeholder engagement workshop for Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions in Vietnam's rice sector. Photo: E. Bernardo (CCAFS SEA) ... See more

Hanoi Vietnam | December 1, 2017 - The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam, in cooperation with the USAID and CCAFS SEA, conducted   ... See more



IRRI - Vietnam Country Flyer

CCAC brochure.pdf

CCAC Brochure



paper on GHG mitigation potential strategy in paddy rice in Vietnam published in Agriculture Science and Technology Jounal.pdf

Methane (CH4) Emissions from Paddy Rice and Potential Mitigation Options

CCAC marketplace Rice April 16 2018 (2).pdf

Methane Mitigation in Rice Paddies in Bangladesh and Vietnam