Groups to promote sustainable rice production in Vietnam

by Eric Schroeder
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By improving rice production, the groups said they will help Vietnam’s agriculture sector.
 
SINGAPORE — The International Finance Corp. (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has partnered with the Loc Troi Group to help the group roll out sustainable agricultural standards and practices throughout its rice-production value chain. By improving rice production, the groups said they will help Vietnam’s agriculture sector expand its global market share, increase profitability sustainably, and improve farmer livelihoods.

The Loc Troi Group provides agricultural services and products in Vietnam. In collaboration with the IFC, the Loc Troi Group will spend the next two years working toward conforming to agricultural standards and practices developed by the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), a multi-stakeholder partnership, to promote resource efficiency and sustainability, both on-farm and throughout the rice value chain. Approximately 4,000 farmers will learn about new farming practices that will help them grow high-quality, high-yielding, and sustainable rice, the IFC said.

The project will be implemented first as a pilot and subsequently scaled up.

“IFC brings significant global experience delivering knowledge and expertise in agriculture to help businesses provide better returns to shareholders and create brighter futures for farmers,” said Huynh Van Thon, chairman, Loc Troi Group. “We will support the scaling up through quality control and strict inspection throughout the entire value chain. The project will especially provide effective training to ensure a consistent application of SRP standards to meet performance indicators in the material area, which will help us build a specific high-quality rice brand, able to compete in international markets.”

The Loc Troi Group has approximately 25,000 farmer households in its fold. The group is looking to manage a sustainable rice supply-chain in the Mekong Delta, which is known as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam.

“IFC’s advisory services in Vietnam’s agricultural sector are delivered in partnership with the Government of Canada,” said H.E. Ping Kitnikone, Ambassador of Canada to Vietnam. “Canada is supporting Vietnam’s sustainable and inclusive economic growth by improving agricultural competitiveness while applying climate-smart practices. With our support and private-sector participation, this initiative will benefit thousands of female and male farmers.”

The IFC and the Loc Troi Group said the initiative is in line with Vietnam’s recent Agricultural Restructuring Plan, which was created to enhance the sector’s competitiveness and better position it to respond to international market opportunities. Despite being a leading rice exporter, Vietnam faces competition in price and quality from market players such as Thailand, India, Pakistan, and emerging countries like Cambodia and Myanmar.

“This partnership allows IFC to contribute to the drive to reform Vietnam’s agriculture sector and unlock the door for farmers to access relevant knowledge, skills, and finance to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable manner,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR.
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