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THUA THIEN HUE Province: Building ecological agriculture and green agriculture models for a sustainable development

In the framework of the national research “The development of ecological agriculture: a case study in Viet Nam” in 2023 – under the regional project “Network for Agriculture and Rural Development Think-tanks for Countries in Mekong sub-region” (NARDT) funded by IFAD, the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development conducted the survey in Thua Thien Hue Province from August 01 to August 06, 2023. The research team discussed and worked with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Thua Thien Hue Province, local officials at the district level, stakeholders, and farmers to learn about the current situation and the potential for the development of eco-agricultural models in the province.

Photo: Agroforestry model of Mr. Nguyen Duc Them, Loc Bon, Phu Loc, Thua Thien Hue

In general, Thua Thien Hue agriculture has achieved many positive results in the last few years, but the agricultural sector still has many constraints such as unsustainable production, unused by-products in production, under-developed preservation, and processing stages. The low productivity and quality of agricultural products lead to the unstable income of the farmers. Meanwhile, agriculture production in the province also faces many challenges such as: (i) Unexpected climate and weather, (ii) reduced production resources due to resource degradation and competition with other industries. In this context, the development of ecological and green agriculture is the prioritized orientation of the leadership of Thua Thien Hue province in the shortcoming time. According to Mr. Nguyen Long An, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, sustainable agricultural development has been introduced into strategy of the Party Committee of Thua Thien Hue Province in the last three terms.

For cultivation, Hue is focusing on the development of key crops, diversification of crop varieties, promoting the adoption of organic production processes, ensuring food safety, and improving quality, combined with ecotourism. Some of the models of sustainable agricultural development are highlighted in the province, such as: The combination of fish and lotus farming model, the agroforestry model with the large fruits tree area, the model with the integration of livestock farming and crops... In livestock farming, the province focuses on diversifying animals such as beef, cattle, goats, using new breeds and adopting organic production processes, bio-safe, using available feed sources and natural inputs.

Currently, Thua Thien Hue province is cooperating with Que Lam group to develop a 4F ((Farm - Food - Feed – Fertilizer) bio-safe breeding complex in Phong Thu commune, Phong Dien district. Accordingly, the model applies microbial fermentation technology in food, uses bio-insertion pads in livestock farming and produces microorganic fertilizer. This model implements the circular agriculture principles and actively protects the surrounding environment. In terms of fishery sector, the province continues to develop sustainable aquaculture in line with the development of community tourism, to protect the pond in lagoon area and promote ecological farming. Regarding forestry, the province prioritizes the development of large timber plantations, planting indigenous plants to replace mono-culture plantations, contributing to reducing erosion and protecting land resources.

In addition to the orientation of ecological and sustainable agricultural development, Thua Thien Hue province is also implementing various projects to protect and restore natural resources. 120 kilometers of coastline and 22,000 hectares of Tam Giang Lagoon with different typical ecosystems have an important role in ensuring favorable habitat and development for aquatic species. However, this region is currently facing habitat fragmentation, dominated by aquaculture areas, leading to biodiversity loss and increased risk of environmental degradation. Therefore, Thua Thien - Hue is implementing a specific project with the objective of conserving, restoring ecosystems, preserving biodiversity and aquaculture resources of the Tam Giang lagoon. 

In general, Thua Thien - Hue has enacted many policies that encourage production development alongside resource and environmental protection to develop agriculture in an ecological and sustainable direction. In the future, the province needs to continue to strengthen the restructuring of the agricultural sector in the direction of sustainable development, improving quality; protecting the ecological environment; increasing incomes for the people; ensuring food and national security. In order to achieve these goals, Thua Thien Hue needs to innovate its policy mechanisms to attract enterprises’ investment in agriculture and to encourage the use of science and technology in both agricultural production and processing.