Vietnam and IRRI
Vietnam and IRRI has been collaborating since 1963, when it received the first Vietnamese scientist to visit and study at the Institute.
Since 1963, Vietnam and IRRI have enjoyed a long, fruitful history of collaboration, starting with the release of IR8 in both the northern and southern delta rice-growing areas. In 1978, an IRRI team headed by then Director General N.C. Brady visited Vietnam upon the invitation of the Minister of Agriculture Vo Chi Cong. A memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Ministry and IRRI laid the foundation for work for the succeeding decades.
Through IRRI and Vietnam partnerships, Vietnamese farmers are now able to maximize the full potential of the high-yielding rice varieties being grown in the Mekong and Red River Deltas. Vietnam placed high value on their collaboration with IRRI. From their initial areas of collaboration, Vietnam and IRRI are expanding their partnership to include rice production in the upland ecosystem, environmental issues, and grain quality.
In 1992, IRRI established its office in Hanoi to support futher collaboration. IRRI’s contribution to Vietnam’s achievements was recognized through Vietnam’s First Class Friendship Order that was awarded to IRRI during the IRRI-led International Rice Congress held in 2010.
In 2011, a report from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) evaluated the economic impact and value of IRRI's breeding work in Vietnam between 1985 and 2009. Findings showed that rice farmers in southern Vietnam achieved average annual yield increases of 9.8%, or an additional USD127 per hectare from IRRI's breeding contributions alone.
In 2014, Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat requested IRRI to help Vietnam develop a rice restructuring plan that will help the country position its rice industry for future growth and markets. The proposed technical assistance (TA) package aligns with priorities of the Vietnamese government and aims for a restructuring of the rice sector into “a more efficient and market-oriented value chain that is quality-based, environment-friendly, climate-smart, competitive, and inclusive.”
Following the drought and salinity crisis in 2016, IRRI has supported a shift in the rice cropping calendar for the Mekong Delta. With the help of climate-risk maps developed within the CGIAR Climate Change program CCAFS, several hundred thousand hectares of rice can now be sown earlier and avoid salinity stress.