Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and CGIAR recently evaluated on-going research by CGIAR centres in the country and developed plans for further collaboration in agricultural research for development.
At a coordination meeting attended by MARD officials and 50 focal persons and representatives from 10 CGIAR centres working in Southeast Asia—International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Bioversity International, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Potato Center (CIP), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), WorldFish and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)—in Hanoi, Vietnam on 6 November 2015, new approaches to improving and coordinating research between CGIAR and the government of Vietnam were discussed.
MARD and CGIAR have been collaborating for four decades. The two institutions have been working hand in hand in areas of sustainable farming systems, developing technologies to enable smallholder farmers improve their crop and livestock production, managing natural resources, and adapting to climate change.
At present, nine CGIAR Research Programs, namely, Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics (Humidtropics), Livestock and Fish, Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), and Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), are working in Vietnam, with several study sites all over the country.
The goals of the coordination meeting were to update and familiarize MARD on the current activities and plans of the CGIAR centres working in Vietnam, and explore approaches and mechanisms to facilitate complementation, synchronization and integration of CGIAR activities with MARD policies, plans and programs.
The long-term expected outcome is a stronger complementarity of research-for-development (R4D) programs between MARD and CGIAR centres in agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
Among the key issues addressed were memorandums of understanding and host country agreements, support for site access for foreign experts, scientists, researchers and students; possibility of a CGIAR host institution, an annual dialogue event and future coordination meetings. Translational research in Vietnam and ‘site integration++’, where Vietnam is one of the six priority countries of phase two of CGIAR research programs, were also discussed.
Hung Nguyen, a senior scientist and ILRI Vietnam country representative, Fred Unger, a food safety and zoonoses scientist, and Thanh Nguyen, ILRI Vietnam’s administrative officer, attended the meeting.
Hung Nguyen highlighted ILRI’s projects on value chains, food safety and zoonotic diseases, climate change and the environment and CGIAR Research Programs on Livestock and Fish, A4NH, CCAFS, and Humidtropics through which ILRI is working in the country.
He also highlighted ILRI’s accomplishments in improving the livelihoods and increasing the competitiveness of smallholder livestock farmers, research on food safety and zoonoses, and capacity building, which he said were made possible by collaboration and partnership with key Vietnamese government departments, research and academic institutions.
Read about the areas of collaboration for livestock research for development specified in the ILRI-MARD long-term partnership plan.
See the rest of the meeting photos on ILRI’s Flickr account.