Agroecological food systems, guided by nature, can provide ecosystem services and promote equitable, climate-conscious decision-making. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), farmers need easy access to resources and support to transition to climate-resilient production systems.
HANOI, Vietnam (04 September 2023) - The use of digital technologies in agriculture remains limited in many countries, often because of infrastructure, affordability, awareness, and regulatory issues. Vietnam’s commitment to ‘Net-Zero’ by 2050, in which the agricultural sector plays a significant role, presents an opportunity to introduce technology tools aimed at supporting that journey.
The EU-IFAD Agroecological Transitions for Building Resilient, Inclusive, Agricultural and Food Systems (TRANSITIONS) program aims to promote inclusive digital resources and citizen science to empower farmers to co-create, adapt, and innovate practices. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is leading the work in Vietnam, with a focus on digital tools for the rice value chain in the Mekong Delta.
This is especially needed in rice production, which in Vietnam is responsible for 15% of the country's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Vietnam, irrigated rice production emits 50% more carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) than the entire transportation sector, including airplanes, ships, cars, buses, trains, and motorcycles.
IRRI has been working alongside partners such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), technology developers, and related supporting organizations, to develop various digital tools.
One of these initiatives is Agritask. Agritask is an app for data collection and technical advice, with the objective of supporting sustainable rice farming practices, such as the Sustainable Rice Platform certification process. In June 2022, IRRI accompanied Agritask and IFC as they began user training and testing trials with farmers, cooperatives, and district level officials in the Mekong Delta.
In addition, IRRI and co-developer SeaSpray Labs introduced the API (Application Programming Interface) for SECTOR GHG Calculator. SECTOR offers a high range of flexibility in terms of sourcing emission and activity data, and in selecting a range of scales for aggregation. SECTOR can allow GHG emissions verification and quantification for monetizable carbon credits, as the rice sector carbon market develops in Vietnam.
In 2023, in collaboration with IFC and as part of the TRANSITIONS project, the SECTOR GHG calculator methodology was integrated into the Agritask app, allowing easy access to GHG calculations by the end user.
The SECTOR API will also be integrated into other IRRI tools such as RiceMo, an app designed to advance the work of monitoring and planning rice production in central and local agriculture offices through the collecting and reporting data on rice cultivation progress.
Stakeholder training on the inclusive use and development of the API and related apps will be conducted later in 2023 in the Mekong Delta.